Press Release
March 19, 2011


In the wake of all the disasters hitting different parts of the world, Senator Edgardo J. Angara remarked on the increasing usefulness of social networking sites and other modern forms of communication during emergency situations.

"Rapid developments in ICT [Information and Communications Technology]over the past decade have given us so many ways to keep in contact with each other and the rest of the world. These lines of communication serve as lifelines during calamities," said Angara, chair of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology.

For example, there online people finders for those still missing in disaster-stricken areas, continuous news feeds in Twitter and Facebook from news outfits, as well as emergency hotlines created to facilitate cross-country communication for our OFWs.

Relief organizations have also set up information pages with links to online maps, local emergency numbers, and a list of donation options for those who want to give monetary aid.

On the other hand, people should also be wary of false websites asking for donations to help Japan and other affected areas. They use the name of known charity organizations and ask internet users to deposit money into fake accounts.

"These scammers try to take advantage of gullible internet users who are eager to help in whatever way possible. They would lose their hard-earned money, plus there is also an added risk of identity theft if they submit personal information," Angara warned.

Both internet fraud and identity theft have heavy penalties in Senate Bill 52 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act authored by Angara. The bill is now awaiting discussion at the Plenary after the recent joint committee hearings.

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