The coronavirus pandemic is pushing students to sell sensual photos and videos to continue in their distance learning classes, a senator warned as he urged government to investigate the incidents.
Senate Education Committee Chairman Sherwin Gatchalian cited a report where learners are engaging in online sex to buy gadgets and continue paying internet bills with the second quarter of the school year resuming this January.
The education department pushed through with distance learning despite calls from groups to postpone, citing difficulties in gadget availability and internet access which could leave many students behind.
Gatchalian said students are putting out “Christmas bundles” of photos and videos to sell for as low as 150 pesos.
From March to May in 2020 alone, a spike in cases of online sexual exploitation among children at nearly 280,000 had been reported in Metro Manila, the senator said, up significantly from 76,500 in 2019.