By Ellson Quismorio
A House leader reckoned Saturday that the third and final reading passage of House Bill (HB) No. 8655 or the Expanded Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children (VAWC) Act is virtually “assured.”
The bill’s principal author, Bagong Henerasyon Party-list Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy, had this to say following the second reading passage of the measure during plenary session on December 5.
A key feature of the bill is its definition and coverage of electronic VAWC (E-VAWC), particularly when it pertains to social media shaming or bashing.
“We have now made it easier for victims, law enforcers and prosecutors to bring to justice abusers and perverts who use social media and other means of electronic communication to inflict psychological violence and humiliation against women and children,” said Herrera-Dy, chairman of the House committee on women and gender equality.
The bill seeks to amend Republic Act 9262, also known as the Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004.
It is expected to get final House nod this week, or just before the start of the Holiday recess.
“Kapag naisabatas na ang E-VAWC, mas madali nang makakalap ang ebidensiya at mabubura sa Internet ang anumang malalaswa at mapanirang-puring posts o comments ng mga abusado at manyak (Once enacted, the E-VAWC will make it easier to gather evidence and delete on the Internet any lewd and defamatory posts or comments from abusive persons or sex maniacs),” explained the lady solon.
Herrera-Dy, who also serves as Assistant Majority Leader, said HB No.8655 and its impending passage “proves the responsiveness of Congress to current and emerging threats to the welfare of women and children.”
She also said the measure “shows how relevant Bagong Henerasyon Party-list is to millennials and postmillennials who are the most active in cyberspace and social media.”