THE ESTABLISHMENT of a database for sex offenders, which will be accessible to the public, has been filed in the Senate.
“The many special penal laws against sex-related offenses so enacted of late shall be futile unless ample public protection and warning is provided for,” Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada said in a statement on Sunday.
The senator called it unfortunate that sex offenders are able to freely repeat offenses, despite having been apprehended and convicted, by relocating elsewhere.
Under Senate Bill 1291 or the proposed National Sex Offender Registry Act, sex offenders who knowingly and willfully fail to register or update their information in the database will be jailed for up to five years and fined P10,000.
Those convicted in local and foreign courts will remain in the registry for life and will be required to appear at least once a year before the local police for verification purposes.
“The purpose of this bill is not to shame convicted sex offenders, but rather, its purpose is to help warn the community about the necessary protection of children and society from crimes committed by sexual predators,” the senator said.
A counterpart bill in the House of Representatives was filed last year. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan