THE Bankers Association of the Philippines (BAP) has reiterated its call to Congress to pass House Bill 9615, or the Bank Account and E-Wallet Regulation Act, to protect the financial system from cybercriminals.
“There has been a rise in the number of cybercrimes perpetrated against the banking public, thus there is a need to ensure that criminals are held accountable for what they have done. The Bank Account and E-Wallet Regulation Act expands our government’s tools in fighting against cybercriminals by punishing the usage of financial accounts for criminal activities,” said BAP president Jose Arnulfo Veloso.
The bill punishes major offenses such as money mules and phishing, and these crimes will be treated as a form of economic sabotage.
A money mule is defined as a person who electronically receives, acquires or transfers money, funds or proceeds derived from phishing or other cybercrime.
Phishing is defined as a social engineering scheme to obtain or any attempt to obtain sensitive identifying information by disguising as a trusted entity in an electronic communication for the purpose of illegally accessing a victim’s online account.
Those who are found guilty of these crimes will be punished with prision mayor (six years and one day to 12 years in prison) or a fine between P200,000 and P500,000.
Persons who are found aiding a money mule or attempting to do major offenses under the bill will be punished with prision correccional (six months and one day to six years in prison) or a fine between P100,000 and P200,000.
The BAP also reiterates that it is open to working with Congress on their proposed amendments on the bill.
Recently, the House Committee on Banks and Financial Intermediaries held a hearing on the proposed legislation.
“We welcome opportunities to provide inputs to our legislators as to how we can further strengthen this bill. The BAP is willing to work with the necessary stakeholders to ensure the safety of every Filipino who conducts financial transactions online,” Veloso said. (PR)