Philippine Congress Enacts Law Increasing the Age for Determining the Commission of Statutory Rape

The Philippines has amended the its penal law on rape by increasing the age for determining the commission of statutory rape from 12 years old to 16 years old.


President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Republic Act No. 11648 (RA 11648) on March 4, 2022 which effectively amended several provisions of the Philippines’ Anti-Rape Law.


Apart from raising the minimum age of sexual consent, RA 11648 also amended the determination of how rape is committed. Under the amended provision rape is committed  “by a person who shall have carnal knowledge of another person…” This changed the old law that limits rape to certain acts done by a man on a woman. 


It should be noted though that minors engaging in sexual activity are exempted from criminal liability under the new law provided that the age difference between the parties is not more than three years.


The law also introduced amendments to the provisions on qualified seduction, child prostitution and other sexual abuse, child trafficking, obscene publications and indecent shows, and other acts of neglect, abuse, cruelty or exploitation and other conditions prejudicial to the child’s development. It also added a provision which directed the inclusion of the subject on the rights and protection of the children in the basic education curriculum.


RA 11648 gets the Philippines up to par with the sexual consent laws of of its neighbors in Southeast Asia and with the rest of the world. 


The full text of the law may be accessed here.

Photo source: House of Representatives 

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