SEC, DICT join forces vs online scams

Published October 3, 2021, 7:00 PM

by James A. Loyola

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has joined forces with the cybersecurity arm of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to intensify efforts in preventing and suppressing cybercrime in the country.

The SEC said it has entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC) for collaboration on programs, projects, and activities in accordance with the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

Department of Information and Communications Technology

“The modern-day investment scammer now makes use of information technology and social media to hide their identities and avoid arrest and prosecution,” SEC Chairperson Emilio B. Aquino said.

He added that, “as champions of investor protection, it is the SEC’s mandate to ensure that investment environment in the Philippines is safe from all of these perpetrators of investment fraud.”

SEC Chairperson Emilio B. Aquino

“Through this MOA, the Commission can enhance our ability to adapt to more complex tools employed in fraudulent investment schemes so that we can implement adequate preventive measures to avoid grave and irreparable damage to the investing public and employ the necessary detection procedures to ensure the capture of bad actors,” said Aquino.

CICC Executive Director Cezar O. Mancao II called the partnership “another milestone in ensuring the safety of Filipino corporations around the globe.”

He cited Cybercrime Magazine which said that cybercrime threats damage not only private life, but also cities and countries alike. Globally, cybercrime is estimated to inflict damages totaling 6 trillion US Dollars annually. As markets grow more global and complex, so does cybercrime and other misconduct online.”

Under the MOA, the SEC will coordinate with and provide CICC with relevant information and data to support the latter’s programs, modules, and activities.

The SEC will likewise coordinate with the CICC on information sharing and information stewardship to promote public awareness on cybercrime prevention.

The CICC will provide technical assistance to the SEC by conducting the appropriate seminars, workshops, and trainings that would capacitate the Commission in cybercrime prevention, suppression, and prosecution.

The partnership between the SEC and CICC is in line with the national government’s 12-point National Security agenda, which seeks to shield the country from computer-generated/cyber-attacks that could cause massive crises in the country’s economy, banking and financial institutions, communications and other critical infrastructures.

Cybercrime is currently the fastest rising economic crime, according to the findings published under the National Security Policy for 2017 to 2022.