Banning the Unbannable: Why the Philippines’ Anti-Pornography Law is an Exercise in Futility

Earlier this week Get Real Philippines raised the issue of pornography in the Philippines, which despite being illegal generates over a billion dollars (nearly 65 billion pesos at the current exchange rate) in annual income, making the local porn “industry” the eighth-largest in the world. To get some idea of the scope of the economic activity involved, consider these statistics detailed by Pinoy journalist and lecturer Noel Sales Barcelona:

“Almost every month, the [Optical Media Board (OMB)] confiscates hundreds of thousands of counterfeit VCDs and DVDs. From January to September 2008, the OMB has confiscated 4,807,012 CDs costing P1.4 billion ($29,400,000 based on the prevailing peso-dollar exchange rate in Sept. 17, 2008).”

And that’s just the amount that is removed from the consumer market; take a quick look around any tiangge, palengke, or well-traveled urban sidewalk anywhere in the country, and the efforts of the OMB are clearly a spit against the tide, and that does not even take into account the unfettered access to Internet-based pornography Filipino citizens who are ostensibly subject to a ban on the stuff have.

Just like the classic example of well-intentioned failure in America’s Prohibition Era, the ban on pornography in the Philippines is clearly incapable of preventing its availability, which should come as no surprise to anyone with a basic understanding of economics; standard economic theory predicts that prohibiting any mutually-beneficial exchange – in this case, the exchange of money for a little boom-chikka-wow – will inevitably fail.

The standard arguments offered in support of a continuing ban on pornography in the Philippines have little to do with economics, and everything to do with “guarding against immorality” and “preventing sexual crimes and deviance.” But is there any objective validity to the anti-pornography stance?

Is Pornography Harmful?

This response in a comment thread on a Philippine-based anti-pornography blog is typical of the reasoning behind anti-pornography activism:

Firstly, Pornography is a form of Adultery which means that it violates the 6th commandment of God “You shall not commit adultery.” Thus, it is immoral. What is Immorality? In my own words, it involves actions that are against the personal and social ethics. Pornography is against the personal ethics, social ethics and the CULTURE of our country.

Second, it corrupts the innocent minds of young people. Instead of doing their daily responsibilities, they engage in Pornography.

What is the bad effect? The best example that I can give you as of the present time is Hayden Kho. He recorded and kept sex videos of him, having sex with other girls. When he was asked why he did such a thing, he can’t answer anything. Will he do such a thing without any reason? The main root of his actions is most probably Pornography. His mind was corrupted by Immorality. Like him, Pornography watchers can be turned into SEX ADDICTS when they grow up.

Moreover, it abuses women. In sex videos, women are more abused. Their dignities are being stepped on whenever someone watches their videos.

Another slightly more coherent anti-pornography group, the Pro-Life Philippines Foundation, doesn’t bother to try to explain why pornography is bad, but makes the same sort of moral implications in citing the causes of pornography as explained by the Pontifical Council for Social Communications:

-A pervasive moral permissiveness, rooted in the search for personal gratification at any cost. Associated with this is a kind of despairing moral emptiness, which makes sense pleasure the only happiness human beings can attain.

-The profit motive. Pornography is a lucrative industry. Some segments of the communications industry have tragically succumbed to the temptation of exploiting human weakness in order to make money from productions of pornography.

-Bad libertarian arguments. People engaged in the porno business believe that nobody has the right to attempt to stop or limit the production or distribution of sexually explicit materials. Such materials according to them is protected freedom of expression, and anyone who tries to interfere with it as an intolerant, narrow-minded censor. Some even falsely say that the best way to combat pornography is to legalize it. Faulty libertarian arguments such as these are espoused by small groups who do not represent the moral values of the majority and who fail to recognize that every right carries with it a corresponding responsibility. The public responsibility for promoting the moral welfare of the young, for fostering respect for women and for the protection of privacy and public decency.

-The lack of carefully prepared laws or the ineffective enforcement of laws which already exist to protect the common good, especially the morals of the young.

To summarize, the arguments used to support the assertion that pornography is harmful are:

  • It constitutes adultery, in the sense that the viewer is likely having lustful feelings towards the persons or acts he is viewing, and not his own partner.
  • It encourages young people to be unproductive and neglect their responsibilities.
  • It leads to sex addiction.
  • It abuses and disrespects the women who are participating in the pornographic activities.
  • It contributes to personal gratification and sense pleasure. The implication is that these are bad things.
  • It is a lucrative business, and it is wrong to exploit human weakness for profit.
  • Those who support legalization of pornography do not represent the moral values of the majority.

By contrast, actual empirical studies have found no causal links between the availability and viewing of pornography and social behavior or attitudes. The Barcelona article cites the conclusions of the President’s Commission on Obscenity and Pornography formed by President Lyndon Johnson in 1969:

  • That there was “no evidence to date that exposure to explicit sexual materials plays a significant role in the causation of delinquent or criminal behavior among youths or adults.”
  • That “a majority of American adults believe that adults should be allowed to read or see any sexual materials they wish.”
  • That “there is no reason to suppose that elimination of governmental prohibitions upon the sexual materials which may be made available to adults would adversely affect the availability to the public of other books, magazines, or films.”
  • That there was no “evidence that exposure to explicit sexual materials adversely affects character or moral attitudes regarding sex and sexual conduct.”
  • That “Federal, State, and Local legislation prohibiting the sale, exhibition, or distribution of sexual materials to consenting adults should be repealed.”

In a 1995 article (also cited by Barcelona), Avedon Carol, one of the founders of the UK-based feminist group, Feminists Against Censorship, asserts that

“As those among us who have studied child abuse and sexual violence (or experienced it) know all too well, rape and abuses are problems that go deeper and are more intractable than anything that can be blamed on the camera and the printing press. Abusive relationships take many forms and almost anything can be seen as the ‘cause’ of abusive behavior. As many husbands have harassed and humiliated their wives over cooking and housework as have done so over sexual issues – and many women have learned, to their chagrin, that abusers are often more likely to try to suppress sexual expression in their wives than they are to try to force such expression. And most abused women – including those who have suffered sexual abuse – have little to say about pornography as a specific problem in their relationships.

“Indeed, criminologists and clinical workers alike are largely in agreement that pornography is not causal to sex crime and abuse. In the United States, treatment centers and law enforcement agencies have collected data on sex crime for over 50 years, showing no correlations linking it to pornography.”

And finally, an even more recent (2009) study by researchers at Montreal University confirmed the earlier conclusions that, despite the widespread consumption of pornography, no connection between exposure to it and later actions or attitudes on the part of the viewers could be drawn. Taken altogether, the evidence seems to suggest that:

  • A ban on pornography does not prevent access to pornography, and
  • Access to pornography does not lead to behavior that harms the public welfare, thus
  • A ban on pornography has no impact on public welfare.

The Economic and Social Costs of the Pornography Ban

In fact, the ban on pornography may do more harm than good by hitting the country with an economic “double whammy”: forcing the porn industry to function as a significant part of the extralegal economy, and requiring the diversion of additional human, organizational, and financial resources in the form of the OMB (which had a budget of P25 million at the time the time the statistics cited earlier were collected). Consider that the 12% VAT alone on 65 billion pesos’ worth of pornography would amount to over $168 million in additional government income annually, to say nothing of the taxes on income generated from those who make a living in the porn industry, or the positive effect of having that much revenue (an amount that exceeded the 2009 net income of Meralco and the San Miguel Corporation combined) flow through the mainstream economy.

Redirecting government resources from pursuing an unenforceable blanket prohibition to monitoring trade practices, labor standards, and tax compliance in the industry would more effectively address the social problems that can be associated with the porn industry – not the imagined negative effects on “public morality,” but the actual incidents of exploitation and abuse that do occur in connection with the production of pornographic materials. Legalizing pornography does not mean it should be unregulated. Existing laws against unfair labor practices, exploitation of minors, and physical and emotional abuse can be better applied if the industry is legalized, because the definitions of what are “acceptable” and “unacceptable” can be clearly made. As it stands now, those who continue to champion the ban admit that pornography is actually hard to define; better, perhaps, to focus on what can or cannot be allowed in the narrower and easier-to-manage context of clear, existing laws that have universally-accepted civic  as opposed to debatable and subjective moral  consequences.

As with anything that does not present a clear danger to the common good, pornography should be left within the realm of personal choice; after all, it seems a little hypocritical that a country that accepts one Biblical immorality – homosexuality – as worthwhile entertainment and creatively finds ways around another – divorce – by selectively misinterpreting its own Annulment Law should futilely continue to stick to its moral guns concerning a bit of human nature that has existed since the Stone Age. A bit of human nature, it is worth pointing out again, that is an economic goldmine – understandably distasteful to some, but one that does no more harm than that, and one that requires nothing more for the country to benefit from than to just let people do what they’re already doing anyway.

About bkritz

I'm a writer, and I do things my own way. That might sound cool to you, unless you're one of the people who actually knows me, in which case you're probably shaking your head in exasperation at the depth of that understatement.
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72 Responses to Banning the Unbannable: Why the Philippines’ Anti-Pornography Law is an Exercise in Futility

  1. WTF DUDE!!! says:

    expect population Boom after the ban………just kidding hehe

  2. eleanor says:

    The population is already booming anyway even with the so-called ban in effect.

  3. ulong pare says:

    … daang

    … PORNOGRAPHY or just plain sexual past time?… kasi, flips puro tambay, walang kayod… too much time in their hands…

    … flipland, 85% pekeng devout katolickdics >>> devout katolickdick padre damasos, the guardians of human morality, suck and fak anything that moves, young and old, male, female and in-betweens…

    … flips multiply faster than kakroaches…

    … i bet y’all, as a singol flip, prez gung gong abnoy has a library of triple x and a signed copy of katrina h fcuky-sucky tape… :mrgreen:

  4. Ryan Bosco says:

    “Firstly, Pornography is a form of Adultery which means that it violates the 6th commandment of God “You shall not commit adultery.” Thus, it is immoral. What is Immorality? In my own words, it involves actions that are against the personal and social ethics. Pornography is against the personal ethics, social ethics and the CULTURE of our country.”

    Isn’t ‘Thou shall not steal’ part of the 10 commandments? Talk about not practicing what we preach.

    The church and the government are against legalizing pornography because, as I indicated already, it means less money collected from the sheeples. Population boom means bigger tax base and profits for Cardinal Rosales Incorporada and of course the Kamaganak Companies of the government. Legalizing porn would mean a stain on their family names and character.

  5. Parallax says:

    i noticed that the moralists in the philippines would always insist that porn is a corruptor of pinoy moral values despite evidence to the contrary.

    perhaps it’s a reflection – no – an ADMISSION of the moralists themselves that pinoy culture as it is today is too f*cked up for pinoys to handle legalized porn maturely.

    similarly, they’d rather keep schooling pinoys in the dark about sex education as if it’s something that ought to be swept under the rug so as not to “give them ideas”. so they leave the youth to find out from fhm, cosmopolitan, uno, maxim, the internet, pirated dvds, and nearly all tabloids in open circulation what they’re not being taught in school.

  6. Hyden Toro says:

    This is the trouble of mankind. What is banned: they are curious about it. Something must be good and tempting, for this one to be banned. Remember in the Christian Bible. God alledgedly banned Adam and Eve; to eat the Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil. The Devil in the form of a Serpent, went and tempted Eve. With Eve taking the bite; he offered it to her husband, Adam. We all had sinned, afterward. According to the Christian dogma.

    Everything that is forbidden. People will always be curious about it. They banned Catholic Priest to have sex and be celibate. In turn; they sexually abuse boys and girls. They hire prostitutes. They even view pornography, in their private time. Pornography will always be a booming business. Pornography performers are everywhere. The market is there for people who will buy the products. It is like the liqoure prohibition in the rolling 30′s in the U.S. It built crime families like the Mafiosis.

    I have no easy answer on this issue. I don’t know how to regulate it. Unless, they will castrate people to reduce their raging hormones.

    • palebluedot says:

      once i went to check email using the priests’ ‘puter; as i open the browser, 3 windows of porno sites appeared…1 of it was a gay site :twisted: that was total jackpot, now i can easily nag and/or shout at them if i feel like it :wink: i feel powerful :twisted:

  7. Ryan Bosco says:

    Thanks for this post Ben! It’s been a while since I read God’s commandments. Below are my thoughts:

    ***************************

    ONE: ‘You shall have no other gods before Me.’
    FILIPINOS GETS A PASSING GRADE ON THIS.

    TWO: ‘You shall not make for yourself a carved image–any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.’
    DOES THIS MEAN ALL OF OUR SANTOS IN CHURCH VIOLATE THIS LAW?

    THREE: ‘You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.’
    WE GET A PASSING GRADE ON THIS AS WELL.

    FOUR: ‘Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.’
    THIS IS HOLY ATM DAY FOR CARDINAL ROSALES

    FIVE: ‘Honor your father and your mother.’
    PASSING GRADE ON THIS.

    SIX: ‘You shall not murder.’
    HMMM, NEED I SAY MORE ABOUT HOW THE PHILIPPINES FOLLOWS THIS?

    SEVEN: ‘You shall not commit adultery.’
    LOL, PUTANG INA, HALOS LAHAT NG MAY KAPANGYARIHAN NA PILIPINO MERONG KABET! OKAY, HALOS LAHAT NG PILIPINO MERONG KABIYAK SA TABI.

    EIGHT: ‘You shall not steal.’
    AHEM! THANKS FOR THE RANKING TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL AND CORRUPTION INDEX. THIS IS MORE OF AN ISSUE THAN PORNOGRAPHY.

    NINE: ‘You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.’
    I WOULD SAY THAT ALL THOSE INVOLVED IN THE PEOPLE POWER REVOLUTION ARE GUILTY OF THIS FOR OVERTHROWING MARCOS AND IMELDA…TO THIS DAY, THEY ARE NOT GUILTY OF ANYTHING.

    TEN: ‘You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.’
    KRIS AQUINO, READ THIS!

    (I don’t see pornography here.)

    • innagadda54 says:

      Ryan Bosco

      I love your interpretations but allow me to respectfully disagree on two of them.

      ONE: ‘You shall have no other gods before Me.’
      ( Mon to Sat at 12 noon what do our people do?)

      THREE: ‘You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.’
      (susmaryosep I disagree)

    • Hyden Toro says:

      The 11th Comandment: THOU SHALT NOT BE CAUGHT. Violate the Ten Commandments. Be sure you are not caught: Preists and religious leaders, included. Look at the Iglesia ni Kristo, Manalos. They are living in mansions. While most of their followers,who are poor,are living in shanties.
      The Catholic Bishops are living in big houses. While, most of their parishioners, who are poor are living in “barong-barong”. If this what we call religion? Hypocrisy, at its worst! Modern day Pharishees…that Jesus Christ had condemned, while he was on Earth…

    • Hyden Toro says:

      Hey, Kris Aquino is immuned to the Ten Commandments, according the the Catlolic Church. It applies only to us:common people. So, toe the line, Dude! Or, you will fry in Hell…

  8. ulong pare says:

    … daaang

    FLIPS, WALA NA KAYONG MALAMON, PURO PA KAYO RELIHIYON!…

    … flipland’s roman catholicsm is fake…

    … italy, vatican, spain, etc., etc – the center of roman catolicsm – practice birth control…

    … flipland, 85% katolicks, the gaya-gaya-puto-maya country, is pure hypocrazy… puro pekeng relihiyoso…

    … lookit our administration traposakals, past and present… puro magnanakaws, ‘sang tambaks ang kabits… pero, ‘sang bendisyon lang ni manila archbisupsop, voila! pure again…

    … hay naku flips…

    • Joe America says:

      padre,

      it’s not time that’s in their hands . . .

      • ulong pare says:

        … daaang

        … joe ‘merkan, you’re alright…

        … it’s a loaded post…open-ended… makes the reader use his/her gray matter… and arrive on his/her own decision…

        … i prefer brevity… the opening line dictates the outcome… the rests are bullsh!ts… :mrgreen:

      • Joe America says:

        padre,

        you inspire me,
        for where minds are willing to bend, there is hope and opportunity,
        and yours is way bent . . .

  9. tingog boss says:

    One of the best poster-boys for reproductive-health issue for Pilipinas is Persi-Noy :wink: himself.

    Just think about it!!! He must be doing something right — and he should talk about his secret. Already fifty-plus years old, he has no children nor does he have STD — what brand :D does he use?

  10. boombox says:

    ^^ Chastity belt… LOL

  11. UP nn grad says:

    Unless he’s had a vasectomy, and because they haven’t yet started selling male “pills”, then the only real answer is CONDOMS. The principle is SAFE SEX. The product is CONDOMS.

    Maybe his brand is Okamoto from Japan, but it’s probably DUREX or TROJAN.

  12. Jay says:

    Reminds me of the political cartoon where it showed 1) that the Catholic church can privy in the sexual lives of everybody in the world and 2) The catholic church’s sexual lives are private to EVERYBODY in the world but amongst themselves.

    Even amsterdam has a red light district that is very professional, enforced well and follows some ethics.

  13. Joe America says:

    What next, marijuana clinics?

    Actually, I agree. This is a parallel discussion to Benign0′s commentary on annulment. Efforts to impose morality on private individuals is a huge waste of energy. In this case, the moralists would have everyone be prudes whilst the priests are busy bonging the choirboys instead of the bells.

    • BenK says:

      I wish you’d go further with the “marijuana clinics” idea, because that’s the sort of counter-argument I’ve been anticipating and wanting to test. I believe the “slippery slope” notion is something that people could be reasonably concerned about, and should be addressed.

      Pornography, and in parallel, the annulment issue are two areas where I think we can show that the (I assume) well-intentioned attempt to regulate morality actually have objective negative impacts: where pornography is concerned, that negative impact seems to be largely economic, and with annulment, it seems to be largely social. To me, any subject that is a candidate for this kind of discussion should be judged against its impact on the public welfare — health, safety, economic prosperity, basic individual rights. As it stands now, I can’t find the clear evidence that banning pornography better maintains public welfare, and in fact the opposite appears to be true. Same goes for annulment-vs-divorce. Something like legalizing marijuana, for example, would have to be subjected to the same sort of examination; I’m inclined to think it would fall into the same category as pornography and divorce, I would personally like it to, but I don’t know that for sure, and it’s entirely possible it might not.

      • mel says:

        Apropos marijuana…

        here is a link on how The Netherlands deal with it:

        http://www.thesite.org/travelandfreetime/travel/beingthere/amsterdamdruglaws

        When it comes to drugs, am skeptic. Many Filipinos are ignorant and irresponsible. We have to be careful dealing with drug topics. On the other sides, I hear a lot of news about Shabu and Ecstasy. Certainly, these problems need immediate attention from the lawmaking and enforcement bodies.

        A lot of things to do in this country… :cry:

      • Joe America says:

        Ben,

        Any law is an imposition on the freedom of individuals. Most pertain to keeping one citizen from harming another. Those that propose to keep one citizen from harming himself are violated with impunity because it is fruitless to manage one’s private decisions . . . without a camera in every home, ink stamps on the forehead, and other such State imposed solutions.

        Trying to block the importation and use of drugs is horribly expensive. Convert the expense to revenue by allowing dispensation that is taxed. That way the users can fund drug law enforcement and the rest of us can get fatter SS retirement checks. Marijuana is little different than beer and is a superb place to start. I dunno about hard drugs . . . if we got that far down the slippery slope, I’d think harder about it.

  14. silvercrest says:

    Correct!

    Another thing to note is that sailors nowadays prefer to stay away from brothels and just do their “stuff” on board. hehehe… pornography is not all bad.

  15. ulong pare says:

    … daang

    “Banning the Unbannable: Why the Philippines’ Anti-Pornography Law is an Exercise in Futility”

    … looking at different angles, prez gung gong abnoy profile looks like a two day old (unwashed) poosy… or a limp d!ck…. it’s a blatant “indecent exposure”… :oops:

    … who’s going to press charges? :mrgreen:

    • Hyden Toro says:

      Hey Dude; Pres. Noynoy Aquino is born Undersexed. His sister, Kris Aquino is born Oversexed. One is deficient in Hormones. The other is overwhelmed with Hormones. There is nothing you can do about it. It is a Quirk of nature. Like people born autistic, or mentally dysfunctional. You what I mean?

  16. mel says:

    Get rid of double morality, Philippines!

    Take the example of Beate Uhse of Germany.

    From Wikipedia:

    “Beate Uhse-Rotermund, born Beate Köstlin [ˈkœstliːn] October 25, 1919 – July 16, 2001) was a German pilot and entrepreneur. The only female stunt pilot in Germany in the 1930s, after World War II she started the first sex shop in the world. The company she started, Beate Uhse AG, is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, and is the world leader in sales of sexual aids. The company also started a television channel on the Premiere network of television channels.

    Uhse was one of the most important people for sexual liberation in the German-speaking world. In 1989 she received the “Bundesverdienstkreuz” (German Cross of Merit), and in 1999 she was declared an honorary citizen of the city of Flensburg.”

    What we need is a Filipino Uhse :mrgreen:

    • miriam quiamco says:

      Mel, this is certainly a revolutionary idea, you are suggesting here. I do recall though a woman with a column on sex matters in one of the respectable spreadsheets in the Philippines. She is supposed to be a psychologist and thus, qualified to give advice on sexually related problems. But a pilot, wow, her profession would certainly not make her qualified to write about sex in our credential-oriented society. I was also a little shocked to see the transparency of the sex industry in Amsterdam. Years back, I recalled seeing women from all races posing in the glass windows of sex-establishments in the red light district there, so men could see first what kind of women they could pay to spend pleasurable time inside the building. In the daytime, I also saw lots and lots of sex shops selling sex paraphernalia for both men and women. I was younger then and did not think much of it. Now, it occurs to me that it has to do with the sexual liberation that many Western European countries have experienced. I guess it is because secularism is very much a part of European life, the churches there have lost their authority as a voice majority of the people listen to. Rather, the religious in Europe is just one of the many voices that have an input on how society should exist, but their input is not taken that seriously, unlike here, once the church raises an objection, everybody stops and listens and does not dare criticize what the religious have to say.

      I say we need to debate issues in the country in a secular way. In Japan, pornographic materials abound, it is a fact that the Japanese produce 20% of pornography worldwide and people read porgnographic literature everywhere, over lunch, on trains etc.. My collegaue at work who is a mother complained having to tidy up the rooms of her teenage sons, and finding graphic pornographic “manga” strewn about on the floor. Japan is not a Christian country, and so it does not forbid the publication or proliferation of pornographic forms of entertainment. From the article above, this is probably wise since the government is earning a lot from the taxes it levies on these products, but obviously not enough to cover the Japanese government spending, and the public debt that is almost 200% of their GDP. Underground sex industry here is also untaxed, since prostitution is illegal, but there is a thriving prostitution business in this country. Recently though, the governor of Tokyo is pushing for restriction on the purchase of pornographic manga by the very, very young people, since there has been a rise in STDs among the young in Tokyo, apparently, boys and girls in Japan get their first sex exposure from reading porno-manga. And a lot of these mangas contain viollent sex, I do see a lot of young people, all boys reading sex-mangas at convenience stores, in the section for manga.

      This is a rather important issue, and as much as it makes sense to lift the ban on pornographic materials, I think we need to discuss how to restrict access of these materials to the youth. The internet sex is another matter, a Japanese friend says this is good in keeping husbands faithful to their wives, I don’t know. . . Apparently, husbands who have become tired of sexual contacts with wives can find release on internet sex. omg!!!

      • mel says:

        Miriam,

        indeed, it is a big challenge to our government and society on how to deal with sex and pornography. Though Europe is sexually liberated, the governing bodies are functioning well to protect the children and the youth from pornographic and perverse sexual activities. With the liberalization come responsible governance, parenthood and adulthood.

        St. Pauli, the red light district of Hamburg, Germany, can only be entered by men above 18 years old. Women, children and youth are taboo.

        Amsterdam is an extreme sexually-liberated city. They even tolerate “soft drugs” like marijuana but their laws control the situation.

        I prefer the legal option for pornography in the Philippines with strict restrictive measures rather than what the current situation is, where everyone, young and old, can buy pornographic DVDs in sidewalks and in market stalls.

        Hmmm, with the Internet sex? At least, they do not get sexually-transmitted diseases! :mrgreen: But again, access should be limited and that is another BIG problem.

      • Dee says:

        ‘Strict restrictive measures’ simply do not exist in the Philippines but I do agree that it should be the focus instead of more laws banning so many things in futility. Don’t even think of pornography, just think of alcohol and tobacco. It’s very simple for the underage to buy both. I’m not even sure how it works in the Philippines. Do they even check ids or fine businesses that sell to minors? Like what you said, limiting access is a big problem. So I don’t really see the point of this anti-pornography law. The title of the article says it perfectly.

      • ChinoF says:

        I guess the logic with sex education and not banning pornography is this: how can you prove to your kids that something is wrong if you can’t show them how it goes wrong? :idea:

      • NFA rice says:

        The legalization of prostitution has it merits. Although it did not prevent the traficking of women, it does protect sex workers from abuse, and allow them to band together for a common cause.

        I have lived in this city for almost a decade. People are less religious than Filipinos but effectively more moral.

  17. reality says:

    Again with the bandaid solutions to problems that have deeper roots. Filipinos are hypocrits, plain and simple.

  18. NotMasochisticFilipino says:

    Actually, they even suck in passing (additional) bill(s) about (child) pornography.

    http://www.congress.gov.ph/press/details.php?pressid=3253

    Its even amazing where I found this:

    http://www.sankakucomplex.com/2009/04/15/philippines-bans-loli-hentai-is-child-pornography/
    http://www.sankakucomplex.com/2009/11/20/philippines-life-sentence-for-loli-manga/

    So that’s how it is, the reason why ‘hentai’ is defined as (child) pornography. They can’t even give a detailed, concrete definition themselves.

    Ah, the “pwede na yan” attitude. The bill is very vague because they didn’t do further research.

    Take note of the date about the issue and when the bill is passed. Is it just a coincidence that its a year or less before election time?

    • maikimai says:

      Lol. You also read blogs at Sankakucomplex.

      I also read an article there about a “Translator” of hentai loli manga. She was the trigger of the said bill by Cong. Custodio. She said, she doesn’t have any knowledge about the japanese language, so she uses a dictionary and a Japenese writing guide to “translate” the said manga. How was she able to translate kanji at the first glimpse is really an interesting question, yet was unasked by our congress. This is really a rushed bill and needs to be trashed.

      But on the bright side, who cares? Nobody is enforcing it.

      • NotMasochisticFilipino says:

        http://www.sankakucomplex.com/2009/05/18/japan-forces-poor-countries-to-translate-hentai-child-porn/

        This one, right?

        I remember a commenter saying that pornography is simply one of the tools used by politicians so that they can justify that they are doing something for the better good of the people despite the fact that there are even worse issues that should be addressed like adultery, population inflation, actual child abuse, etc.

      • XIII says:

        sankaku complex link is win, pro pinoy scanlators!! LOL

      • ChinoF says:

        A translator of hentai here in the Phils?

        For crying out loud, that’s BPO! :lol: Then support BPO! :P

      • NotMasochisticFilipino says:

        Few people doubt that the article about outsourcing manga translation being real because no pure novice of Japanese language can translate japanese texts even with the help of online translation tools.

        I’d go for such job (despite having the ‘risk’ to touch adult materials which means the risk of life sentence and Php 500,000) since it’ll keep me exposed to japanese texts, thus increasing my knowledge.

        The risk I’m talking about refers to my first post about the anti-cp bill.

      • Maikimai says:

        Kanji is difficult to translate for a novice, even Japanese people are having a hard time on it. A single stroke can change the meaning of the symbol, how can a novice translate such thing?

      • ChinoF says:

        Hey, I haven’t checked Sangkaku Complex yet. Gotta bookmark it. Thanks. :oops:

        That woman is a demonstration of what people here have to do in order to get a good job. I also happened to find a job offer wherein a manga page had to be cleaned of Japanese characters. Of course, it was a hentai page.

        Online opportunities are aplenty despite the crisis. That’s what got me going for Raul Roco in 2004: he seemed to be the only candidate aware of telecommuting.

  19. ricelander says:

    On the other hand, are you familiar with the saying “Masarap pag bawal”?

  20. Lilly says:

    Excellent points, but I just want this little question answered: Can Filipinos, with their current general mindset, handle legalized pornography maturely? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not siding with the silly morality police, but take a step back and think. Can the average ethically-confused Filipino be trusted to handle a newly-legalized taboo such as porn maturely like all progressive nations do?

    Because I think it’ll be like throwing a piece of meat among a pack of dogs. Haha.

    Though of course, I’m all for legalizing it. I just can’t vouch for the maturity of the average Pinoy.

    • ChinoF says:

      For one thing, legalizing it can be accompanied by stringent regulations, so it doesn’t mean porn will be that let loose like wildfire. I believe regulation can control the distribution of an object much more than banning can.

      And another thing, I think how “maturely” they receive it can be seen in many examples already. Just because it’s banned now doesn’t mean some resourceful Filipinos aren’t getting their hands on it. Basically, the piece of meat is already with the pack of dogs, but they’re just munching about it quietly. :P

    • Jayce says:

      Many Filipinos likely won’t be able to handle such complex legislation. I mean, even the simple “No Jaywalking” is being violated by people — and even tolerated by traffic enforcers within sight.

      Legalizing pornography would be better than banning it since there will be rules and regulations regarding its distribution in the market and the appropriate taxes implemented (haha, as if that would be really the case!).

      Though in this country which has a deep bias for Roman Catholicism, it will be an uphill battle for realist legislators to even push for a regulated pornography. Church leaders will always have a hand in terms of Philippine governance.

      Let’s hope that there will come a time when Philippine politics will revolve around practical and realistic programs, not hindered with obstructive moralistic approaches of double-standard religions.

      • ChinoF says:

        Are firecrackers still banned? I recall reading that legalizing firecrackers was one way to reduce the incidence of this practice, but it never happened. Despite the ban, Manila becomes a war zone on Dec. 31. It’s the time of year I hate the most. And it’s another example of how bans don’t work here as opposed to regulations.

        Rampant firecracker use during New Year’s Eve are another example of a self-injuring culture that I have so vehemently written against.

  21. Miriam Quiamco says:

    ChinofF, you cleaned up a hentai translated page? I hope it wasn’t about this 12-year old boy going house to house raping 10-year old girls, or something like that. I have to admit I find a lot of unregulated Japanese pornography truly revolting. With globalization, we are opening our society to yet more dangerous influences. We are already dealing with so much bad influences for the young, with the loosening grip of the church on the minds of the young, and the loud influence of vacuous television programs and hollywood films, I wonder how they will handle the perverse sexual notions of the Japanese. I dread how the vulnerable minds of the youth will handle this. At least, in developed countries, the young have wholesome hobbies in sports, music, intellectual pursuits, our youth have very limited options in terms of entertainment, if we legalize all forms of pornography, we are indeed opening the market to a deluge of perverted materials coming from Japan.

    I am very impressed with Japanese economic development, but this country has serious social problems that I am not sure we as a society are capable of dealing, considering budget constraints. Let me say, I am for keeping the ban, if it means keeping out a deluge of perverted sexual materials from penetrating the outer reaches of Filipino society. At least in the countryside, pornography is still not part of the norms, people will have to go to big cities and scour special tianges to look for them. Access is limited to city folks and lost youth in big towns, with legalization of pornography, we might end up like Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar and other Asian countries with a huge HIV-infected population. Despite the hypocritical sexual orientation of the Pinoys, the country remains to be the only one in Asia to have the lowest number of cases of HIV-infections. Without condom culture, I am afraid, legalization of pornography could unleash an even bigger public health issue in the country. At least in Japan, condoms are available in vending machines everywhere, in our country, condoms are still a big issue. I say, we keep the hypocrisy and keep the ban, I don’t think the potential revenues from pornography could offset the potential cost of dealing with the social and health issues that might ensue.

    • crust says:

      There was already an uncontrollable flow before it was banned so I don’t see anything different. Pornography is for responsible adults and not children. If they’re gonna ban child pornography, they need to ban REAL child pornography from REAL children and not IMAGINARY ones. And they need to enforce properly.

      Now I don’t know if you read and understood the article but, as for your spiel on your second paragraph, how the hell can pornography cause HIV infection? Lack of proper sex education is one cause of that but never pornography.

    • BenK says:

      Let me chime in on what crust pointed out: There is no causal link between pornography and actual sexual attitudes or behavior, in half a century’s worth of studying and trying to find just such a link to justify restrictions. And the ban on pornography isn’t working at all. I might point out as well that despite the country’s not having a “condom culture” as you put it, condoms are still perfectly legal and widely available to everyone who wants to go down to the 7-11 or the Mercury Drug and get them.

      Show us a study that links pornography exposure to higher HIV rates. You made the assertion — back it up.

      • Miriam Quiamco says:

        No, I don’t have any scholarly study to back up my conjecture. It is a fact though that countries in Southeast Asia with loose pornography laws and where condom-use is not as widespread as it is inJapan, have very high HIV-infection rates. What I mean by “condom culture” is the wide acceptance of the use of condoms by Filipinos, which still carries a lot of taboo here. Filipinos cannot even talk about condoms without blushing, and to walk into any mercury drugstore to buy condoms could pose an embarrassment. I say, the society is not ready for a deluge of pornographic materials especially in the countryside, which legalization will surely bring about.

    • ChinoF says:

      Miriam, nope, it wasn’t the ten year old boy. It was just two girls… well, toying with a device. That’s all. :oops: But you gotta hand it to the Japanese – they have really weird fetishes. Just look at Strike Witches for example. Sankaku Complex says it all though. “It’s a cultural thing” is the canned response.

      I found that page while looking for a job, so I tried it out. But of course, didn’t pass. I think this manga page scans clean-up thing has been going around for a while. Probably the online scanlation sites benefit from this.

      I think you overestimate the threat of foreign influence in pornography and its connection to globalization. I don’t think we need globalization to put Playboy and Xerex in the hands of youth here, or even hentai. I mean, I was in high school, and my classmates’ suddenly “bleed noses” with these mags while in class. Right now, hentai is aplenty, and mostly likely you could get that in Recto or Divisoria too (include the underground DVD stores in Arlegui and others!). And of course, FHM, Tiktik, Toro and Boso (what else? hehehe). Like I said above, the piece of meat is already being eaten by the dogs, but it’s being done quietly. Never underestimate the “extra-legal” system of the Philippines. :wink: I think legalization will help because it uses regulation rather than bans to control stuff, and working against a ban is definitely more exciting for the bootleggers.

      • ChinoF says:

        it wasn’t the ten year old boy

        Forgive me for getting some facts wrong, but you know what I mean.

      • Miriam Quiamco says:

        Manga is a huge industry in Japan, now, that is an idea, would love to translate some when I get home, I could telecommute like you, huh, but my presence over there will increase competition. I am not fond of manga myself, I am really surprised by the popularity of Japanese manga worldwide. There was one exchange student at our university from Germany, when asked why she came to study in Japan, she said it was because of her fascination with Japanese manga. She wanted to be able to read Japanese manga in its original language.

      • ChinoF says:

        Yeah, manga/anime is an amazing phenomenon. It’s a great topic for study. As for pornography… I doubt there’s any need to study why it’s popular. LOL.

  22. qwerty says:

    just legalize porn! look at vegas!

    • qwerty,

      Leave Vegas alone. What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. :wink:

      • Miriam Quiamco says:

        Yeah, I agree, people who visit Vegas are pretty worldly people with a degree of sophistication, do you think our peasants could handle Vegas culture with destroying their way of life?

  23. abcdef says:

    12th commandment: wag kang aamin.

  24. Caloy says:

    If memory serves me right, it was Senator Ramon Revilla Sr. who proposed legalizing adult movie theaters. But any evidence mentioning such thing is nowhere to be found on the net. Rather, I’m having a hard time finding it, if any trace is out there.

    • Miriam Quiamco says:

      I did not know adult movie theaters were illegal, saw lots of them in Cebu.

      • ChinoF says:

        Proof of how ineffective the ban is… and that worries of pornography becoming more rampant are needless… because it is already rampant.

  25. Ponse says:

    I find it funny that is alright to openly show physical and emotional violence (you know scenes with emotional outbursts and “sampalan”) in the media but love making is a big no-no. No wonder most media obsessed pinoys are pent-up and angry folks.

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