SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
13 January 2022 06:51:05 PM
The House Committee on Banks and Financial Intermediaries chaired by Quirino Rep. Junie Cua on Thursday approved in principle the substitute bill that would regulate the use of bank accounts and e-wallets, as well as prohibit the use thereof for unusual and suspicious financial activity. It substituted House Bill 9615 filed by Cua; HB 10141 by Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte Jr.; and HB 10412 by MAGDALO Party-list Rep. Manuel Cabochan III. In his opening remarks, Cua stressed the importance of the passage of the bill, citing the exponential growth of electronic financial transactions, as well as the increase in cybercrimes that have victimized the depositing public and the banks.The panel tackled the proposed amendments by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to the bill. BSP Technology Risk and Innovation Supervision Department Director Melchor Plabasan said the changes they made were essentially intended to make the bill clearer and consistent with other regulations or laws. Among the amendments were the change in the title of the bill which reads “An Act Regulating the Use of Bank Accounts, E-Wallets, and other Financial Accounts”; added definition of “E-wallet”; redefinition of “money mule”; and deletion of the term “phishing” to be replaced
with the term “social engineering scheme” on all referring to phishing in the bill. The Philippine National Police (PNP) also proposed the inclusion of a provision which states that “a penalty of one degree higher than that provided for by the Revised Penal Code, as amended, and special laws, as the case maybe, shall be imposed if the same is committed by, and through the acts as defined under Section 4 of this Act.” The panel also addressed the serious bottleneck facing the PNP and the Department of Justice (DOJ) in the prosecution of the issue of getting information from the banks, which Cua said, would be addressed by the BSP. As to the problem of getting a warrant, Cua said “we will address that by improving the language of this bill.” In his closing remarks, Cua said the bill is of national interest especially during this time when many are being victimized by cybercriminals.