The chairperson of the House Ways and Means Committee on Monday sought a congressional inquiry into the safety features in digital banking and the ability of law enforcement agencies to implement laws against financial cybercrimes in the country.

Albay Representative Joey Salceda has filed House Resolution (HR) Nos. 2406 and 2407 in response to recent reports of hacking of digital bank accounts.

HR 2406 urges the House Committees on Public Order and Safety, and Public Accounts to conduct hearings, in aid of legislation, on the capacity of law enforcement agencies to apprehend, detect, investigate, and prosecute financial cybercrimes.

Meanwhile, HR 2407 directs the House Committee on Banks and Financial Intermediaries to look into the safety and security measures and user protection mechanisms being undertaken by banks and electronic payment solutions providers to protect their customers from being defrauded.

“Without adequate protection from banks for their retail users, ordinary citizens are compelled to use digital payment solutions due to mobility restrictions and convenience even when they are not certain about the security of their hard-earned savings,” Salceda said.

He cited RA 10175, or the Cybercrime Prevention Act, penalizing computer-related fraud or “the unauthorized input, alteration, or deletion of computer data or program or interference in the functioning of a computer system, causing damage thereby with fraudulent intent.”

He noted that Philippine law enforcement agencies do not yet have specific anti-financial crime units that are otherwise typical in other countries.

“Financial crimes similar to the reports … could be prosecuted under the aforementioned provision of Republic Act No. 10175 if law enforcement agencies have the capacity to apprehend, detect, and investigate financial cybercrimes,” Salceda said.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is looking into complaints of hacked bank accounts posted on social media by some bank customers. (PNA)

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