With 207 affirmative votes against 3 negative votes, the House of Representatives approved on third and final reading a measure pushing to increase the age of statutory rape from the current 12 years old to 16 years old, regardless of the sexual orientation of the victims or the offenders.

House Bill 7836 sets the age of sexual consent to 16 years and amends the Anti-Rape Law as well as the Revised Penal Code.

If the said bill is enacted into law, any adult who has committed a sexual intercourse with a minor below 16 years old will be considered guilty of rape even if the victim gave his or her consent.

“By establishing the crime of statutory rape to be any sexual activity with a child, of either sex, under the age of 16 – the law makes certain the punishment of those who commit such crime,” said Tingog party-list Representative Yedda Marie Romualdez, one of the authors of the measure.

Under the bill, rape is committed by any person against another person by:

  • Inserting or causing the insertion of a person’s penis into another person’s inner or outer vaginal labia, anal orifice or mouth;
  • Inserting or causing the insertion of a finger, instrument or object, into another person’s inner or outer vaginal labia or anal orifice;
  • Placing or causing the placement of a person’s penis between, or rubbing or causing the rubbing thereof on, the breasts of another person.

Also considered rape is when any person caused another person or persons to perform the said acts even if the offender does not participate in it, under the following circumstances:

  • By force, threat, intimidation, deception, coercion;
  • By abuse of authority or moral ascendancy;
  • By employment of means to deprive him or her of reason or render him or her unconscious;
  • By other fraudulent machinations; or
  • When the victim is incapable of giving consent by reason of his or her physical, mental, or psychological disability or condition.


Life imprisonment awaits offenders under the bill. 

Romualdez is advising her fellow lawmakers in the Senate to approve the bill “as a gift for and a commitment to the safety of our children.”

“Definitely, no children should be left without sufficient protection especially from rape. Child rape is an ugly and painful reality that we must collectively confront and address immediately and decisively. But it is not enough that we are indignant,” she said.

“Our indignation must translate into action, and concrete measures to stop it,” she added. RJ Espartinez