OFWs warned not to bring porn when going to Australia

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 29 2012 04:02 PM | Updated as of Oct 30 2012 12:02 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Headed for Australia? Make sure your phones and laptops don't have any pornographic material or you can face arrest in Australia.

Labor Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz warned overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) bound for Australia to make sure their laptops and cellphones are clean of pornographic materials, especially those involving minors.

Under Australian law, mere possession of child pornography is a serious offense.

Several OFWs have already been arrested for possession of child pornography.

Australia-based Labor Attache Jalilo O. dela Torre said 3 OFWs were arrested in the first quarter of 2012, after Australian Customs and Border Protection authorities found child pornographic materials on their cellphones and laptops.

"Australia is very serious in protecting itself from these illegal offensive materials that those who attempt to bring these goods into Australia face investigation, prosecution and penalties, including jail time," Baldoz said.

Australian law also prohibits pornographic materials in CDs and DVDs.

The maximum penalty for such offense is $275,000 and/or 10 years imprisonment. Any OFW caught and convicted with such prohibited material may also banned from ever coming back to Australia to work.

"Another OFW has been arrested in Western Australia this week. He is presently detained and awaiting trial," dela Torre said.

Baldoz said she has instructed the Philippine Overseas and Employment Administration and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration to make sure Australia-bound OFWs are aware of child pornography laws in the country.

The DOLE chief advised OFWs not to download anything that could be considered as child porn, and to delete such material from the phones and computers.