November 19, 2021

BAP and KBP agree to work together to combat cybercrime.

Since the pandemic began to comply with movement limitations designed to help manage coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) infections, cybercrime has surged to more than PHP1 billion this year as more individuals turn to digital financial transactions.

In a virtual briefing on Wednesday, Ramon Jocson, vice head of the Bankers Association of the Philippines’ (BAP) cybersecurity committee, said the number of over PHP1 billion in losses from frauds and unauthorized withdrawals is an estimate based on BAP members’ reports alone.

“In terms of volume, we think it has probably gone up maybe three times as opposed to 2019,” said Jocson, who is also the executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Bank of the Philippine Islands.

He claims that the actual amounts are higher because BAP estimates are based on reports given by member banks and do not include information from other financial organizations.

He blamed the rise in cybercrime on the increased usage of digital financial transactions, which he said gave criminals more opportunities.

On Wednesday, BAP and the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) inked a memorandum of understanding for “Cybersecurity X,” a cooperative cybersecurity awareness initiative.

During the same event, Wick Veloso, president of the BAP and president and CEO of the Philippine National Bank, said that current cybercrime laws “should probably be used and understood more by having the ability to put someone behind bars and to chase those cyber criminals and be able to set the example.”

“And when we see how they try to avoid being prosecuted as cybercrime progresses and new laws are needed,” he continued, “then is the time that we are going to confront this.”

The BAP and KBP partnership’s ultimate goal, he said, is to give every Filipino who is a victim of cybercrime the ability to report the crime to the police, who will then be able to apprehend the criminals.

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