• Senate ratifies cybercrime, tax treaties


    The Senate on Monday passed on third and final reading five resolutions concurring the ratification of five treaties, including the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime which would prevent syndicates from making the Philippines a “haven” for their illegal activities.

    Senators also unanimously ratified four treaties covering the Philippines’ Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements (DTAA) with Mexico, Thailand and Sri Lanka, and the Agreement on the Asean+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO).

    Sen. Loren Legarda, chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, said the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime aims to address the threats posed by cybercrime and facilitates multilateral cooperation and enhanced collective capability to suppress cybercrime.

    “Since cybercrime is borderless, simultaneous and persistent, cooperation, coordination, and collaboration with other countries is therefore vital,” Legarda said.

    “This treaty is very important to protect our people from cybercrime especially since the country is the number one haven for those committing child pornography,” she said.

    According to the Unicef (United Nations Children’s Fund), the Philippines is the number one global source of child pornography and a hub for the live-stream sexual-abuse trade.

    “Eight out of every 10 Filipino children are at risk of online sexual abuse or bullying,” the senator said.

    Meanwhile, the DTAAs aim to eliminate double taxation between the Philippines and Thailand, Sri Lanka and Mexico.

    “These Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements are intended to promote international trade and investment in several ways, the most important of which is by allocating taxing jurisdiction between the Contracting States so as to eliminate or mitigate double taxation of income,” Legarda said.

    The Agreement Establishing the Asean+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO) will constitute AMRO as an international organization with full legal personality.

    The AMRO, initially established as a company limited by guarantee in Singapore, aims to help secure economic and financial stability in the region through the conduct of regional economic surveillance and by supporting the implementation of the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization (CMIM), a multilateral currency swap arrangement among Asean+3 members.

    “This will provide greater macroeconomic surveillance capability for the institution, and consequently benefit the Philippines as one of its clients together with other Asean+3 Members,” Legarda said.


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