Press Release
February 28, 2011


The Congressional Commission on Science and Technology and Engineering (COMSTE) identified the need to pursue Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) in the growing fight against cybercrime.

In a public hearing held at the senate today, Senator Edgardo J. Angara, Chair of COMSTE, and the author of Senate Bill No. 52 or the Anti-Cybercrime Bill, expressed his concern for the, "growing menace," of Cybercrime. The bill imposes heavy punishments for internet-based crimes such as fraud, child pornography, illegal access and others.

Numerous stakeholders from industry and government agencies were represented at the hearing, expressing their views on cybercrime and Anti-Cybercrime Bill. Angara has requested for position papers from the stakeholders that would aid government efforts.

The bill would seek to create a body under the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) tasked to investigate and prosecute all kinds of cybercrimes.

COMSTE, which is in full support of the bill, said that industry and academic institutions with the capabilities and expertise to track cybercriminals would influence the effectiveness of the bill. COMSTE also recommends building on existing relationships with other countries to boost collaborative efforts in fighting cybercrime.

"Cyber crime is an actual danger to democracy, human rights and the rule of law. It is a dangerous reality, which has to be taken seriously at the highest level. It is of utmost importance that an efficient protection and prevention method be developed to combat cyber crime," said Angara, chairman of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology.

Leading security software companies Trend Micro and Symantec have issued reports that expose numerous cybercrimes that have occurred in the Philippines. Even Microsoft has expressed its support in the governments fight against cybercrime.

In a report written by Senior Supt. Gilbert C. Sosa, chief of the CIDG's Anti-Transnational Crime Division, said that since 2003, there have been, "2,624 referred cases of computer crimes both from government agencies and private individuals nationwide."

The same report says that, "present laws are not sufficient to completely deter cyber-offenders and to protect the Philippines' cyberspace. For instance, the most important cyber-security legislation in the country, which is Republic Act 8792 or the E-Commerce Act, enacted on 14 June 2000, only penalizes hacking, cracking and piracy. It does not provide penalties for other cybercrimes such as cyber-fraud and similar offences."

Angara is also looking into expanding the law to include the regulation of SIM cards and lap-top computers to in order to tackle issues brought on with wireless connectivity.

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