Gatchalian calls for increased efforts to fight cybercrime, wants to reinstate NBI’s budget cut by NEP

Gatchalian calls for increased efforts to fight cybercrime, wants to reinstate NBI’s budget cut by NEP

By Liza Soriano

CNN photo courtesy

MANILA — In order to step up the government’s efforts to prevent cybercrime, Senator Win Gatchalian is attempting to reinstate the cut in the National Bureau of Investigation’s 2023 budget.

“Cybercrimes are flourishing in many territories including the Philippines. I would like to see that the NBI is fully equipped and has the necessary resources, especially in its fight against cybercrimes,” said Gatchalian.

The senator raised concern that the National Expenditure Program (NEP) reduced the NBI’s 2023 budget from its actual P2.3 billion to P1.8 billion.

This includes reducing the agency’s budget for its anti-cybercrime enforcement unit to P21.2 million, a reduction of over twenty percent from P26.4 million this year.

Gatchalian asserts that the NBI’s budget cuts might have a negative impact on its efforts to combat cybercrime, particularly at a time when unlawful activities including identity theft, credit card fraud, and the spread of spam and phishing messages are on the rise.

While the Senate waits for the SIM (Subscriber Identification Module) Registration law to pass, he continued, it is imperative to restore the agency’s budget cut.

“We will do our best to reinstate the amount that was cut in the budget proposal,” he stressed in support of the NBI’s anti-cybercrime efforts.

In addition to reinstating the amount cut from the NBI’s budget, Gatchalian said the imminent passage of the mandatory registration of SIMs is also expected to enable the NBI to effectively implement its anti-cybercrime campaign.

He emphasized that a substantial reduction in the number of cybercrimes in the country would help enhance the digital revolution in the country and underpin economic recovery.

“Kailangan nating magbigay ng nararapat na suporta sa NBI upang mapigilan at matunton ang mga kawatan na lalo pang nagiging sopistikado na ngayon. Kung nais nating paigtingin ng ahensiya ang pagpuksa sa cybercrimes, ibigay natin ang lahat ng nararapat na suporta dito,” Gatchalian ended. (ai/mtvn)

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