Lawmaker wants to bar kids under 13 from using social media, set half-hour limit

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 14 2019 06:37 PM

MANILA - A lawmaker has filed before the House of Representatives a bill seeking to ban children under 13 years of age from using social media platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, in the country, citing "pervasive-driven digital marketing systems" on the internet.

Under House Bill No. 5307 titled "Social Media Regulation and Protection Act of 2019," Laguna 1st District Rep. Danilo Ramon Fernandez wants to require social media companies operating in the Philippines to "strengthen its features restricting users under 13 years of age."

Fernandez said he wants to prohibit "social media companies from collecting personal and location information from anyone under 13 years of age without parental consent, and from anyone between 13 to 17 years old without the user's consent."

"With the advent and creation of social media, children and adolescents' every move is monitored online, and even the youngest are bombarded with advertising when they go online to do their homework, talk with friends, and play," read the bill's explanatory note.

He said the measure aims to protect children's well-being by protecting them from online threats.

If passed into law, the act will also mandate all netizens to be limited to just 30 minutes a day on a social media platform, in all devices.

However, "users would be able (to) change the limits but they would have to do so every week."

Fernandez said his proposed bill "not only strengthens privacy and security, specifically for children and minors, but also champions consumer protection."