MANILA, Jan 5 (Mabuhay) — The Senate will look into the proliferation of unauthorized bank transactions and text messages offering non-existent jobs that victimize unsuspecting Filipinos.

Resolution No. 961, filed by Senator Win Gatchalian, seeks an inquiry with the end goal of strengthening the Data Privacy Act, Cybercrime Prevention Act, New Central Bank Act, and other related laws.

In a statement on Tuesday, the senator cited the need for a more comprehensive investigation to enable legislators to come up with solutions that will address the public’s concern over breach of their personal data.

The Senate can also ascertain if banks, business establishments, and concerned regulatory agencies are implementing adequate security measures and controls, and enforcing consumer redress mechanisms, he added.

“We have to ensure that the concerned agencies have ample powers to secure the protection of personal information and monies of the general public and if possible, prevent similar incidents from happening. There should be a law against local and global organized syndicates scamming ordinary Filipinos, especially overseas Filipino workers, the unemployed, and vulnerable,” he said.

The Department of Justice and the Bankers Association of the Philippines (BAP) are also drafting a memorandum of understanding as part of a consolidated effort to fight online fraud.

Early December 2021, depositors of a universal bank lost as much as PHP50,000 each through an online fraud which involved transfer to another bank, bypassing the security measure of sending a one-time PIN (Personal Identification Number) to the registered mobile number of the account holder.

The bank promised to return their money.

The BAP cybersecurity committee said that as of November 2021, banking fraud during the pandemic reached PHP1 billion in terms of unauthorized withdrawals and transfers. (MNS)

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