Senator Edgardo J. Angara is pushing for the passage in Congress of the Cybercrime Prevention Bill as the published reports showed an exponential increase in the number of internet users in the Philippines. As a result, a steady rise in online crimes was also observed.
According to recently released statistics, almost 30 million Filipinos used the internet on a regular basis in the past year. An estimated two-thirds of the online population or nearly 20 million Filipinos use Facebook and other forms of social media.
Update 2.10.11: Matrix of Cybercrime bills filed in Congress
“Filipinos will always strive to keep in touch with the people they care about—and with the advent of the internet, it has become so much easier to contact them through Facebook and other online media. However, this has the unfortunate effect of attracting the criminals who want to take advantage,” explained Angara.
To remedy the situation, Angara authored Senate Bill No. 52, otherwise known as the Cybercrime Prevention Bill. It seeks to effectively prevent and punish online offenses such as hacking, fraud, cybersex and child pornography through prison time or a hefty fine of at least Php200,000.
“Measures to fight these online crimes must be put into place as soon as possible to protect the millions of Filipinos who use the internet on a regular basis. This threat to their civil liberties must be taken very seriously with a comprehensive set of laws concerning the World Wide Web,” asserted Angara, chair of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology.
Senate Bill No. 52, “An Act Defining Cybercrime, Providing for Prevention, Investigation and Imposition of Penalties Therefor and for Other Purposes”, was filed during the previous Congress and was a few days short of its Third Reading before being passed into law. It has been re-filed in the 15th Congress and is now awaiting the final Reading in its parent committees.