Mother and son lawmakers Gloria and Diosdado Ignacio “Dato” Arroyo proposed the criminalizing of economic espionage in the House of Representatives.
The Arroyos made the proposal under their House Bill 1377 or Economic Espionage and Protection of Proprietary Information Act of 2013 which aims to protect and ensure the development of proprietary economic information as an integral part of the nation’s commerce and economic development.
The bill defines an economic espionage as an act committed by any person who steals, wrongfully appropriates, takes, carries away, or conceals, or by fraud, artifice, or deception obtains proprietary economic information, as well as someone who wrongfully copies, duplicates, sketches, draws, photographs, downloads, uploads, alters, destroys, photocopies, replicates, transmits, delivers, sends, mails, communicates, or conveys proprietary information.
A person would also be considered committing economic espionage if the person being entrusted with, or having lawful possession or control of, or access to, proprietary economic information, wrongfully copies, duplicates, sketches, draws, photographs, downloads, uploads, alters, destroys, photocopies, replicates, transmits, delivers, sends, mails, communicates, or conveys the same.
Further, those who receive, buys or posses proprietary economic information, knowing the same to have been stolen or wrongfully appropriated, obtained, or converted.
“We need to advance the development and lawful use of Philippine proprietary economic information by protecting it from theft. The development, protection and lawful exchange of such information is essential to the competitiveness of critical segments of Philippine business and industry,” the Arroyos said in their bill.
Further, the measure provides that any natural or juridical person who commits economic espionage as defined, whether or not in the aid of foreign nations, governments, corporations, institutions, or instrumentalities, will be fined an amount equivalent to the economic value of such proprietary information.
Likewise, the Philippine Government will forfeit any property constituting, or derived from any proceeds the person obtained, directly or indirectly, from the commission of such violations; and any of the person’s property used, or intended to be used, in any manner or part, to commit, or to facilitate the commission of a violation of this Act.
“Economic espionage can cost the country’s economy millions of pesos each year especially when perpetrated by foreign government and their agents and instrumentalities,” the Arroyos added.