TO raise public awareness about child trafficking and spur action, the House Committee on the Welfare of Children and the Committee on Accounts on Monday held a special screening of the film “Sound of Freedom.”
“Sound of Freedom” is a feature film based on the exploits of US government agent Mr. Tim Ballard against child trafficking in Colombia.
Committee on Accounts Chairperson and Tingog Partylist Rep. Yedda Marie Romualdez described child abuse and exploitation as a heinous crime, “an issue that can no longer be ignored.” She cited a 2022 UNICEF joint study that estimated 20% of children aged 12 to 17, representing about 2 million children, who went online were subjected to online sexual abuse and exploitation of children (OSAEC). Rep. Romualdez added that OSAEC is the leading cybercrime in the country.
Rep. Romualdez explained that Republic Act (RA) 11862, or the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Person Act of 2022, and RA 11930, or the Anti-OSAEC or Exploitation Materials Act, were passed to combat this crime.
Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez attended the screening to show his support not just for the activity, but for the overall efforts to combat child trafficking, “As Speaker, I pledge to continue our tireless efforts to combat child trafficking, by strengthening our laws and being steadfast in their enforcement in order to provide the necessary protection for our children and their future.”
After the screening, Speaker Romualdez, Rep. Romualdez and Committee on the Welfare of Children Chairperson Rep. Angelica Natasha Co gave cash grants to several children’s shelters, to support their operations.