House passes bill imposing stiffer penalties vs child abuse

MANILA, Philippines – The House of Representatives gave its nod to a bill increasing the punishment for child abuse in the country.

On Monday, February 17, an overwhelming 228 lawmakers voted yes to House Bill (HB) No. 137, which would amend parts of Republic Act (RA) No. 7610 or the Special Protection of Children against Child Abuse, Exploitation, and Discrimination Act.

No lawmaker opposed the measure or abstained from the vote.

The Senate version of this bill, however, remains pending at the committee level. The measure would have to get the approval of senators on 2nd and 3rd readings before it can be transmitted to Malacañang for President Rodrigo Duterte's signature. 

The National Baseline Study on Violence against Children launched in 2016 showed 60% of physical violence and 38% of psychological violence suffered by Filipino children happen in their homes.

What are the main provisions? If passed into law, the bill would impose stiffer penalties for the following unlawful acts done against children:

Who are the authors? HB No. 137 was authored by the following lawmakers:


Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda writes about politics and women’s rights for Rappler. She covers the House of Representatives and the Office of the Vice President. Got tips? Send her an email at or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.