A measure has been filed in the Senate seeking an investigation into the rising incidents of cybertheft victimizing teachers, public servants and even private employees to beef up existing laws to protect them from these crimes.
In filing Senate Resolution 987, Sen. Richard Gordon, who chairs the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights, urged the upper chamber to investigate the unabated commission of cybertheft against the public.
“The Senate must spearhead an inquiry, in aid of legislation, on strengthening existing pertinent legislation on cybersecurity in close cooperation with law enforcement... to adequately protect the Filipino people, particularly those most vulnerable and the financial security of their persons and families essentially relying on our collective cybersecurity,” he said.
He cited recent reports where Department of Education employees complain about unauthorized withdrawals from their payroll accounts in the Land Bank of the Philippines.
Teaching and non-teaching personnel claimed that their money was being stolen and disputed claims of the state-run bank that they were victims of phishing.
Benjo Basas, chair of the Teachers' Dignity Coalition, earlier said in a dzBB interview that 20 teachers and DepEd personnel reported unauthorized transactions in their Land Bank accounts, losing amounts ranging from P160,000 to P200,000.
“The Senate is compelled to act on the vicious commission of cybercrimes against the Filipino people, particularly against teachers and other public servants, private employees, and businesses taking away their hard-earned savings, violating their financial security, assaulting their cybersecurity, and disregarding their rights,” Gordon said.
The Senate and House of Representatives have approved the bill that seeks to require the registration of SIM cards as a way to curb criminal activities aided by mobile phones, the internet or other electronic communication devices.
The measure, which is now up for President Rodrigo Duterte's signature, would also require social media users to register their legal identities and phone numbers when creating new accounts as a way to curb online misinformation.