Cybersex and online sex chat rooms have been targeted in a crackdown by the Philippines government.
The Dutch NGO Terre des Hommes analysed the industry by constructing a virtual 10-year-old Filipino girl called “Sweetie” and used the computer model to entrap more than 1,000 adults who paid for her to perform sex acts.
Although accurate statistics are not available, officials estimate that thousands Filipino girls could be working in the cybersex business.
The act also penalises some forms of internet spam and broadens the scope of libel laws, listing internet libel as a punishable crime.
Suspects found guilty of posting a libellous comment on any web platform, including blogs and social networks, will face up to 12 years.
Bloggers and internet activists said the law could threaten press freedom in the Philippines.