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Gatchalian calls for restoration of NBI budget cut in 2023 NEP

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian

SEN. Sherwin T. Gatchalian moved to restore the cut in the National Bureau of Investigation’s (NBI) P2.3-billion 2023 budget originally intended to bankroll the government’s intensified cybercrime prevention efforts.

This, as the lawmaker conveyed concerns that the National Expenditure Program (NEP) trimmed down the 2023 budget of the NBI to P1.8 billion—from 2022’s actual budget of P2.3 billion—noting that it includes lowering the agency’s budget for its anti-cybercrime enforcement unit to P21.2 million or a slash of almost 20 percent compared to this year’s P26.4 million.

According to Gatchalian, the reduction in the NBI’S budget could adversely affect its anti-cybercrime operations, especially at a time when illegal activities, such as identity theft, credit card fraud, and proliferation of spam and phishing messages, continue to rise. He added that it is crucial to reinstate the cut in the budget of the agency while the Senate awaits the passage of the SIM card registration bill.

“Cybercrimes are flourishing in many territories, including the Philippines. I would like to see that the NBI is fully equipped and has the necessary resources, especially in its fight against cybercrimes,” said Gatchalian.

“We will do our best to reinstate the amount that was cut in the budget proposal,” he stressed in support of the NBI’s anti-cybercrime efforts.

In addition to reinstating the amount cut from the NBI’s budget, Gatchalian said the imminent passage of the mandatory registration of SIM cards is also expected to enable the NBI to effectively implement its anti-cybercrime campaign.

He emphasized that a substantial reduction in the number of cybercrimes in the country would help enhance the digital revolution in the country and underpin economic recovery.

“Kailangan nating magbigay ng nararapat na suporta sa NBI upang mapigilan at matunton ang mga kawatan na lalo pang nagiging sopistikado na ngayon. Kung nais nating paigtingin ng ahensiya ang pagpuksa sa cybercrimes, ibigay natin ang lahat ng nararapat na suporta dito,” Gatchalian stressed.

Image credits: Mark Cayabyab/OS WIN GATCHALIAN



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