Manila Mayor Francisco "Isko Moreno" Domagoso vowed to give the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and online banking services more teeth to deal with pornography in the country, if elected as president in the May polls.
During the 2022 Presidential One-on-One Interviews with Boy Abunda on Jan. 27, Domagoso said he will make "ICT" a "powerful agency" to go after social media companies and websites where pornographic materials proliferate.
"I’ll teach these social media companies. I’ll make them responsible because nagiging outlet iyong kanilang mga sites," Domagoso said, adding that he'll also speak with platforms like GCash, PayMaya, "even credit cards and the banking system," to deal with the matter.
Domagoso, however, also reminded parents about their responsibility so as their children won't get access to explicit contents online.
"As a parent you always talk to your children. Be reasonable. Explain to them the gravity of the situation," he said. "But more than porn, another problem is masyadong balasa, iyong abused words and sinasabi mo and social media na ginagamit as porn site."
Domagoso's recent stance on pornography is an apparent depature from his once raunchy career in showbiz. He became a matinee idol in the 80s and 90s, starring in several soft porn films.
He, however, said in previous interviews that he's never been ashamed of his past life as a sexy star, saying that it's a "decent profession" that helped him put food on the table.
"Iyon naman ay hindi ko kinubli at hindi ko kinakahiya hanggang ngayon," he told TeleRadyo in November 2021.
In August of that year, President Rodrigo Duterte called out an unnamed Metro Manila mayor for his past racy photos. Even if he didn't namedrop anybody, Domagoso is the only Metro Manila mayor whose past career as a sexy star is public knowledge.
"Nakita ko nga sa Facebook kanina...nakabikini ang gago," Duterte said during his weekly public address about the pandemic. "Tapos may isang picture pa doon na sinisilip niya iyong ari niya."
“Iyan ang gusto ninyo? Ang training parang, para lang call boy, naghuhubad… Iyan ang training ng presidente, maghubad at magpa-picture, at magsilip, magyabang sa kanilang ari," Duterte continued.
As for Leni Robredo, who also sat down with Abunda in the one-on-one interview, said she'll address the prevalence of porn online by crafting a law that would penalize social media companies.
"Kailangan magkaroon tayo ng batas na mag-criminalize na mag-penalize ng social media sites for them to be accountable and responsible na hindi dapat accessible sa mga tao na wala pa sa kahandaan na mag-process," Robredo said.
Robredo clarified that the law wouldn't aim to censor content on the platforms but would ask for the sites to make explicit content inaccessible to kids.
"Di ako digital person, pero I’m sure there should be a way kasi ngayon merong mga apps, di ba, na iyong mga magulang can control what their children can access," she said. "It should be a collaboration between the social media platforms, the families, the schools, pati iyong pamahalaan."
Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., meanwhile, told Abunda that the "social problem" that is pornography, as well the violence in video games, must be dealt with through information drive among parents, teachers, and other mentor figures.
"It’s a form of violence," Marcos Jr. said. "And that is why we have been lucky in that we were able to have a talk with our children when they were younger, and I hope that other parents will take that example."
As for Ping Lacson's administration, if ever, he said he'll create a government agency that would focus on anti-pornography, noting that the country is among PornHub's top sources of traffic.
"Again, we have to be proactive rather than reactive," Lacson said. "So the government should be strong-willed. It should have one standard, it should set an example.
Some social media platforms like Twitter also allow mature content to be shared, but they are marked as sensitive content.