To monitor and track sex offenders in the community, Senator Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada has proposed the establishment of a national database of sex offenders.
He said the database is a piece of easily available and accessible information to local law enforcement agencies and their foreign counterparts.
The National Sex Offender Registry Database is under Estrada’s Senate Bill No. 1291 or the proposed National Sex Offender Registry Act to be handled by the Department of Justice (DOJ).
The database, Estrada said, shall contain the names and other pertinent details of sex offenders who reside or travel to the country.
It will be available and accessible to the Philippine National Police (PNP), the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), and concerned law enforcement agencies.
It can be shared between countries and respective law enforcement agencies if deemed necessary for the proper registration and identification of sex offenders.
The proposed measure, Estrada said, aims to establish a national sex offender registration database that may be of use not only to the public but also to various non-government organizations working for the protection of women and children who often are the target victims of sex-related offenses.
“The many special penal laws against sex-related offenses so enacted of late shall be futile unless ample public protection and warning is provided for,” noted the senator.
“It’s unfortunate that a number of sex offenders who have been apprehended and convicted were still able to consummate their fiendish schemes against unsuspecting victims by relocating elsewhere,” he added.
Included in the measure is the conduct of an information and education campaign to be spearheaded by the DOJ and the PNP to raise public awareness of the existence of the registry and ensure that law enforcement agencies are able to access and use it.
Under Estrada’s bill, convicted sex offenders, prior to being released from imprisonment, shall register and regularly update the province, city, or municipality where they are residing, employed, or studying.
They have 10 days to update their registration if there are changes in their address, employment, or school. Failure to do so will be meted with one to five years of imprisonment and a fine of P10,000.
Those convicted in local and foreign courts shall remain in the registry for life and will be required to appear at least once a year before the local police in their place or residence to personally verify their information.
Estrada said several countries have already enacted similar legislation after the United States passed its national-level sex offender registration law in 1994.