The House of Representatives has approved on second reading House Bill 6572 or the proposed “Public Schools of the Future in Technology (PSOFT) Act”.
The measure seeks to implement a PSOFT Program in all public elementary and secondary schools, with the goal of incorporating technological innovations, approaches, and instruments into teaching and learning processes.
It would create a PSOFT Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to develop a road map ensuring that initiatives are aimed at improving educational quality through digital technology.
Meanwhile, the House Committee on Women and Gender Equality chaied by Bataan representative Geraldine Roman held initial deliberations on Wednesday, Jan. 25, on House Bills 86, 403, 3849, and 4054.
These key pieces of legislation seek to amend Republic Act 9262 or the “Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004” that would address the problem of electronic violence against women and children or minors (E-VAWC).
Roman stated that these measures were filed at the most opportune time, coinciding with technological advancements, particularly the Internet, social media, and revolutionary changes in communication.
“There has been an alarming rise in the number of cases of women and minors who are sexually harassed, stalked, abused, shamed and humiliated online. In some cases, these acts of online violence eventually lead to acts of extortion, and even physical and sexual violence like rape and human trafficking. In worse cases, some may even lead to death and suicide,” she added.
Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines (DSWP) chair Elizabeth Angsioco introduced specific recommendations on the E-VAWC bills, and urged the panel to immediately enact the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Expression (SOGIE) Equality Bill as well.
Other resource persons also submitted their position papers and expressed support in expanding the coverage of RA 9262, to include violence committed through information and communications technology.
Roman directed the committee secretariat to consolidate all the E-VAWC bills and create a draft substitute bill.