MANILA — The Senate on Monday approved on final reading a bill raising the age for determining statutory rape to 16 years old.
With 22 affirmative votes and one abstention, the chamber passed Senate Bill No. 2332, which amends the Revised Penal Code to raise the age of sexual consent to 16 from 12 years old.
"This is a historic legislation that we have long owed our children... Today, the Senate has finally and clearly said no to child rape," Sen. Risa Hontiveros, principal author of the measure, said in a statement.
Senators previously had a long debate on whether the age for determining statutory rape should be raised to 16 or 17.
The bill also revises the language of anti-rape laws to become more "gender responsive" and expands the definiton of rape.
The House of Representatives passed its version of the bill last December.
House Assistant Minority Leader Arlene Brosas, of the Gabriela Partylist, called the development at the Senate as "groundbreaking" and said she hopes the bicameral conference committee will arrive at a more expansive version.
FROM THE ARCHIVES