A member of the House minority bloc has pushed for stiffer penalties for cybercrimes, hacking and computer fraud.
Buhay party-list Rep. Lito Atienza filed House Bill 4702, which sought to amend the Access Devices Regulation Act of 1998 by imposing higher penalties against violators.
“Currently, violators are merely fined P10,000 which enables them to go scot-free after paying the said amount,” he said.
“Foreigners involved in these scams, when caught, pay the same amount then pack up and leave, transferring their base of operations elsewhere,” the solon added.
Atienza also incidents of cybercrime like hacking and computer fraud have become rampant worldwide.
“Bank depositors are losing money from their ATM accounts. Private corporations and even government offices are also falling victims to various forms of cyber scams and hacking. These crimes are tantamount to economic sabotage—causing irreparable damage to personal and company finances, as well as government economies,” Atienza said.
He said government’s efforts to catch and prosecute these scammers have so far failed due to the meager fines imposed on violators.
Atienza proposed stiffer penalties, including a file ranging from P300,000 to P500,000 and imprisonment of not lower than 20 years.
He also pushed to make cybercrime offenses non-bailable, especially if there is strong evidence that will prove the guilt of the offenders.