National database for sex offenders proposed in new House bill

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Credit: michiganradio.org Credit: michiganradio.org[/caption] ACT-CIS representative Samuel D. Pagdilao said the proposed database system will boost the country’s capability to monitor the activities of foreign pedophiles and at the same time warn communities that a sexual predator may be within their midst. “The aim is not to humiliate or embarrass convicted sex offenders. However, the high risk of recidivism in sex offenders calls for this drastic and serious measure, which is necessary for the protection of children and society from sex-related crimes,” said Pagdilao, a lawyer and former head of the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG). Pagdilao said the Bureau of Immigration had previously stated that foreign nationals who are sex offenders will not be allowed entry to Philippine territory, following reports that the BI deported a foreign national in Dumaguete City who had been a fugitive for 10 years in connection with a sexual assault. “True enough, these sex offenders are threats to public safety, most especially to children who, by reason of their economic status, are prone to sexual exploitation and abuse. Unfortunately, government’s efforts to totally ban their entry to the country are not enough to protect the general public,” said Pagdilao, a vice chairman of the House Committee on Public Order and Safety. In House Bill 6301, now pending at the Committee on Justice chaired by Iloilo represen Niel Tupas, Jr., Pagdilao sought the establishment of a National Sex Offender Registry System which wll include the following information for each sex offender: name, address, employment, fingerprints, DNA sample, complete criminal history, recent photograph, in addition to any other information that will be deemed necessary for the proper registration of sex offenders. The bill refers to the “National Sex Offender Registry System” as a database, which will contain the names and other pertinent details about sex offenders who live and travel in the country. The bill provides that every convicted sex offender, prior to being released from prison, shall register in each province, municipality, or city wherein he resides, is employed, or is a student. Each offender shall regularly update the registration. A sex offender who changes residence, employment, or school shall update the registration within 10 days from the said change. The Department of Justice (DOJ) will be mandated to create and maintain the necessary database, computer system, and software that will establish the National Sex Offender Registry System which will allow immediate information-sharing between local and foreign jurisdictions, including law enforcement agencies. The database, computer system, and software created will be shared and distributed to Local Government Units (LGUs) for the operation of a uniform registry and Internet websites. The general public will not have access to the detailed information of the registered sex offender, but a website shall be made available to the public which will include relevant information about sex offenders, such as their name, recent photograph, and the crime committed. Every LGU shall be required to maintain its own online registry, which will be accessible to the general public. Any sex offender who shall knowingly and willfully fail to register or update his information shall suffer the penalty of one to five-year imprisonment. ]]>

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