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  • FF2022-56: Financial Sector Tax Collections, 2019-2021
    The financial sector is composed of banks, non-bank financial intermediaries, life insurances, health maintenance organizations (HMOs) and other pre-need companies (PIDS 2018). Tax sources from the financial sector may be broadly categorized into passive income, financial intermediation, and documentary stamp tax (DST).
  • FF2022-55: ASEAN 7 Performance in the Chandler Good Government Index, 2022 Update
    The Chandler Good Government Index (CGGI) measures government capabilities and outcomes across 104 countries. The insight of the 2022 Index is the close relationship between good governance and social mobility. Countries that are top scorers on the CGGI also have the high levels of social mobility. Of the 35 CGGI indicators, 26 indicators speak of capabilities which suggest that the most capable governments are those that foster the greatest social mobility. The 35 indicators are organized into a framework of seven pillars.
  • ABN2022-08: DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FY2023
    UPDATED AS OF 23 SEPTEMBER 2022. Table 9. Obligations-Appropriations Ratio and Unused Appropriations has been updated to reflect the Transfers from Overall Savings of OSEC in FY 2020. The Agency Budget Notes (ABN) on the Department of Agriculture contributes to the making of more informed reviews and deliberation of the proposed budget of the Department submitted to Congress. The ABN provides budget-related information on agency plans and programs, physical accomplishments and financial management of prior year’s appropriations. This publication also highlights the results of program evaluation by other research institutions, as well as the audit findings and status of compliance of agencies to recommendations of the Commission on Audit. The ABN examines the past, current and proposed budget in terms of allocation by program/project, type of expenditure (i.e., current expenditures and capital outlay), and shares of regional offices.
  • FF2022-54: EMPLOYMENT SITUATION UPDATE JANUARY TO JULY 2022
    The country’s unemployment rate is slowly improving, recording an average of 5.9% for the period January to July 2022, according to the latest Labor Force Survey results (LFS) of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). This is 2.1 percentage points lower compared to the 8.0% unemployment rate in the same period in 2021. Further, while this figure reflects an improvement of 1.9 and 4.4 percentage points relative to the annual average rates in 2021 and 2020 (7.8% and 10.3%, respectively), the same is still higher by 0.8 percentage point compared with the pre-pandemic rate of 5.1% in 2019.
  • BB2022-07: ANALYSIS OF THE REGIONAL ALLOCATION OF THE FY 2023 NATIONAL BUDGET
    The country’s economy, which took the brunt of the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, is slowly recovering as the government ramps up its public spending and lifts restrictive policies to absorb the socio-economic shocks of the pandemic. In the inaugural budget message of the Marcos Jr. Administration, it has promised to deliver an Agenda for Prosperity by continuing the gains of the previous administration in infrastructure development and by accelerating support to the education, agriculture, and health sectors.
  • ABN2022-26: DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS AND HIGHWAYS FY2023
    UPDATED AS OF 19 SEPTEMBER 2022. The portion on regional allocation and the discussions on the "lumped operations budget under NCR Central Office" and possible "overlaps of infrastructure projects under Sustainable Infrastructure Projects Alleviating Gaps (SIPAG) and Basic Infrastructure Program (BIP)" has been updated to reflect the data presented by the DPWH under a separate document in the DBM website entitled "Details of the DPWH Programs and Projects".
  • ABN2022-28: NATIONAL ECONOMIC AND DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY FY2023
    The Agency Budget Notes (ABN) on theNational Economic and Development Authority contributes to the making of more informed reviews and deliberation of the proposed budget of the Agency submitted to Congress. The ABN provides budget-related information on agency plans and programs, physical accomplishments and financial management of prior year’s appropriations. This publication also highlights the results of program evaluation by other research institutions, as well as the audit findings and status of compliance of agencies to recommendations of the Commission on Audit.   The ABN examines the past, current and proposed budget in terms of allocation by program/project, type of expenditure (i.e., current expenditures and capital outlay), and shares of regional offices.
  • FF2022-53: COVID-19 RESILIENCE RANKING, JUNE 2022 FINAL UPDATE
    Since November 2020, Bloomberg’s COVID Resilience Ranking has tracked a regular snapshot of how the largest 53 economies (valued at more than $200 billion) were handling the health crisis. The June 2022 update is the last update having taken into consideration that top and bottom rank economies have largely settled in their permanent rankings. The report shows the top rank economies which have effectively handled the health crisis by having able to reopen their borders and economies without substantial spike in deaths. Since June 2021, the progress of normalization in global travel routes and flight capacity remains the key indicators.
  • ABN2022-27: DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE FY2023
    The Agency Budget Notes (ABN) on the Department of Finance contributes to the making of more informed reviews and deliberation of the proposed budget of the Department submitted to Congress. The ABN provides budget-related information on agency plans and programs, physical accomplishments and financial management of prior year’s appropriations. This publication also highlights the results of program evaluation by other research institutions, as well as the audit findings and status of compliance of agencies to recommendations of the Commission on Audit.   The ABN examines the past, current and proposed budget in terms of allocation by program/project, type of expenditure (i.e., current expenditures and capital outlay), and shares of regional offices.
  • ABN2022-25: COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS FY2023
    The Agency Budget Notes (ABN) on the Commission on Human Rights contributes to the making of more informed reviews and deliberation of the proposed budget of the Agency submitted to Congress. The ABN provides budget-related information on agency plans and programs, physical accomplishments and financial management of prior year’s appropriations. This publication also highlights the results of program evaluation by other research institutions, as well as the audit findings and status of compliance of agencies to recommendations of the Commission on Audit.   The ABN examines the past, current and proposed budget in terms of allocation by program/project, type of expenditure (i.e., current expenditures and capital outlay), and shares of regional offices.
  • ABN2022-24: CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION FY2023
    The Agency Budget Notes (ABN) on the Civil Service Commission contributes to the making of more informed reviews and deliberation of the proposed budget of the Agency submitted to Congress. The ABN provides budget-related information on agency plans and programs, physical accomplishments and financial management of prior year’s appropriations. This publication also highlights the results of program evaluation by other research institutions, as well as the audit findings and status of compliance of agencies to recommendations of the Commission on Audit.   The ABN examines the past, current and proposed budget in terms of allocation by program/project, type of expenditure (i.e., current expenditures and capital outlay), and shares of regional offices.
  • ABN2022-23: OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN FY2023
    The Agency Budget Notes (ABN) on the Office of the Ombudsman contributes to the making of more informed reviews and deliberation of the proposed budget of the Agency submitted to Congress. The ABN provides budget-related information on agency plans and programs, physical accomplishments and financial management of prior year’s appropriations. This publication also highlights the results of program evaluation by other research institutions, as well as the audit findings and status of compliance of agencies to recommendations of the Commission on Audit.   The ABN examines the past, current and proposed budget in terms of allocation by program/project, type of expenditure (i.e., current expenditures and capital outlay), and shares of regional offices.
  • ABN2022-22: DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENSE FY2023
    The Agency Budget Notes (ABN) on the Department of National Defense contributes to the making of more informed reviews and deliberation of the proposed budget of the Department submitted to Congress. The ABN provides budget-related information on agency plans and programs, physical accomplishments and financial management of prior year’s appropriations. This publication also highlights the results of program evaluation by other research institutions, as well as the audit findings and status of compliance of agencies to recommendations of the Commission on Audit.   The ABN examines the past, current and proposed budget in terms of allocation by program/project, type of expenditure (i.e., current expenditures and capital outlay), and shares of regional offices.
  • ABN2022-21: DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION FY2023
    The Agency Budget Notes (ABN) on the Department of Education contributes to the making of more informed reviews and deliberation of the proposed budget of the Department submitted to Congress. The ABN provides budget-related information on agency plans and programs, physical accomplishments and financial management of prior year’s appropriations. This publication also highlights the results of program evaluation by other research institutions, as well as the audit findings and status of compliance of agencies to recommendations of the Commission on Audit.   The ABN examines the past, current and proposed budget in terms of allocation by program/project, type of expenditure (i.e., current expenditures and capital outlay), and shares of regional offices.
  • ABN2022-20: DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION FY2023
    The Agency Budget Notes (ABN) on the Department of Transportation contributes to the making of more informed reviews and deliberation of the proposed budget of the Department submitted to Congress. The ABN provides budget-related information on agency plans and programs, physical accomplishments and financial management of prior year’s appropriations. This publication also highlights the results of program evaluation by other research institutions, as well as the audit findings and status of compliance of agencies to recommendations of the Commission on Audit.   The ABN examines the past, current and proposed budget in terms of allocation by program/project, type of expenditure (i.e., current expenditures and capital outlay), and shares of regional offices.
  • BB2022-06: RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT PUBLIC EXPENDITURE REVIEW
    Research and Development (R&D) spending plays an important role in knowledge accumulation and technological innovation that can increase productivity and foster economic growth. However, the country also lags behind most of its ASEAN counterparts in R&D spending and is at par with Indonesia and Cambodia. This paper probes not only the level of R&D spending by government, but also the types of R&D programs being funded and prioritized. Given the gaps in Philippine R&D performance, limited funds, and the dearth of studies on Philippine R&D budgetary spending, the expenditure review seeks to examine the levels of allocation, distribution, and utilization of R&D funds. Further, it traces the funding mechanisms and the fund flows for different sectoral priorities/areas and R&D programs. A key recommendation is to increase overall levels of public R&D spending which must be made responsive to industry needs and inducive to private sector R&D investment.
  • PB2022-04: Institutionalizing the Philippines’ National Single Window: Tradenet
    The National Single Window (NSW) concept, a system that integrates and automates traderelated procedures, has been recognized by various countries as an effective measure to facilitate trade. For the Philippines, its endeavor to establish its NSW began in 2005 and was met with limited success. Given increasing recognition of the NSW’s importance in the country’s effort to digitalize to become resilient in the face of the continuing global health threats and supply chain disruptions, renewed efforts to put in place the new NSW called the TradeNet should be accompanied by its institutionalization.
  • BVT2022: BUDGET COMPARISON TABLES 2022 Adjusted Spending Program 2023 Proposed Budget
    The national budget is one of the most potent instruments of the government in pursuing development goals through the provision of vital public goods and services. It is also a tool for transparency to help taxpayers understand where their hard-earned monies go. This booklet, provides a comparison of the proposed FY 2023 budget and the current FY 2022 budget. Details are disaggregated by department, agency, and Special Purpose Funds. The budget levels are broken down by general expense class— PS, MOOE, CO, and FinEx.
  • BB2022-05: DIMENSIONS OF THE PROPOSED NATIONAL BUDGET FOR FY 2023
    This budget brief highlights the importance of the 2023 National Budget as the Philippines reopens in the middle of a pandemic, following a change in government administration.  Issues raised include the growth of debt service which limits the productive part of the budget and the need for NG to generate more revenues to finance key programs and sustain economic recovery. This brief is divided into major sections which include the following: 1) Sectoral allocation; 2) Climate change and R&D expenditures; 3) Allocation by expense class; 4) Allocation by recipient unit; 5) Budget utilization performance; and 6) Special purpose funds.  Moving forward, it emphasizes, among others, the need for government agencies to improve on operational efficiency, and for the government to prioritize productive investments as well as embark on cost-saving expenditures (including initiatives for rightsizing, e-governance). KEYWORDS:
  • CSP-62: A LEGISLATOR'S GUIDE IN ANALYZING THE NATIONAL BUDGET (4th Edition)
    The government budget is vital as a tool for development and as an instrument for public accountability.  It serves as a basis for tracking government expenditures and services delivered, and for evaluating the government’s use of public funds.  This Legislator’s Guide seeks to aid Members of Congress in the performance of their budget authorization and oversight functions, ex-ante and ex-post.  It expounds on the congressional power of the purse, looks at the dynamics between the Legislative and the Executive Branches in the context of government budgeting, highlights key information and documents useful for budget analysis, and suggests tools for the exercise of budget oversight. This Guide is divided into three parts: 1) the role of Congress in the budget process; 2) a framework for budget analysis, based on the public expenditure management (PEM) approach; and 3) expanded guide on resources for budget oversight.  This 4th edition of the Guide also adds a new chapter that highlights the key information in the National Expenditure Program (NEP) that are useful for budget analysis.    
  • BB2022-04: PUBLIC DEBT SUSTAINABILITY AND THE PROPOSED FY 2023 NATIONAL BUDGET
    This Briefing Note provides a discussion on the public debt sustainability analysis with highlights on the FY 2022-2028 Medium-Term Fiscal Framework. In the analysis of key debt indicators, key findings show that the government’s debt level is still sustainable and the overall risk of debt sustainability is low. In decomposing debt-creating flows, the main drivers in the movements of the debt-to-GDP ratio are the primary deficit and real GDP growth. The debt dynamics are favorable as the projected growth rates are seen as greater than the interest rates. With the resulting growth rates exceeding the interest rates combined with the estimated DSPB (-3.3% of GDP), it can be assessed that the government has some elbow room to borrow and still stabilize the debt-to-GDP ratio over the medium term. However, the current debt profile may be broadly sound and vulnerabilities are at low risk, but the level of debt may still be influenced by uncertainty in macroeconomic variables. KEYWORDS:
  • BB2022-03: Macroeconomic Parameters: Implications on the Proposed FY 2023 National Government Budget
    This Budget Brief discusses the performance and prospects of selected macroeconomic parameters and their likely implications on the viability of the proposed 2023 national budget.  Among the macroeconomic parameters discussed are the following: (i) real GDP growth rate, (ii) inflation rate, (iii) interest rate (364-day Treasury bill rate), (iv) foreign exchange rate, (v) Dubai oil price, and (vi) unemployment rate.  The brief makes notable observations, including how with a promising first semester performance in 2022, the economy is poised to contribute significantly in raising government revenues after a slowdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.  It also warns of emerging downside risks that could temper prospects for a continued robust recovery. It recommends, among others, for government to focus on productivity-enhancing programs and projects specifically in education, public health, and research and development. KEYWORDS:
  • BB2022-02: The Proposed FY 2023 National Budget and the Medium-Term Revenue Program
    This Budget Brief starts with a discussion on the FY 2022-2028 Medium-Term Fiscal Framework and the Medium-Term Fiscal Program, with the latter establishing the fiscal consolidation strategy of the government.  Revenue projections from 2022-2028 are juxtaposed with the 30-year actual revenue performance to give context to what the revenue targets mean historically.  Medium-term revenue forecasts are also provided based on three alternative scenarios placed side by side with Development Budget Coordinating Committee (DBCC) revenue targets.
  • FF2022-52: 2021 Budget Utilization
    The 2021 Statement of Appropriations, Allotments, Obligations, Disbursements and Balances (SAAODB) reports on the budget utilization performance of national government agencies (NGAs). The SAAODB shows the total available appropriations (after budgetary adjustments made within the fiscal year), the allotments or releases, the obligated and disbursed amounts, and the unobligated allotments.
  • CSP-61: SECURING THE FUTURE: RECOMMENDATIONS FOR LEGISLATION IN THE 19TH CONGRESS
    Securing the Future: Recommendations for Legislation in the 19th Congress contains a menu of policy proposals which may be considered by the House of Representatives 19th Congress.   Jointly prepared by the Congressional Policy and Budget Research Department and the Committee Affairs Department, this work is based upon a paradigm which focuses mainly on concepts of national security, national development, and human security.  It seeks to provide a proper lens with which to view and analyze issues and challenges at the national, regional and global levels; recognize key legislation enacted by previous Congresses; and recommend legislative measures that may be pursued.  This document is divided into eight major sections, as follows: 1) Revitalizing Agriculture and Attaining Food Security; 2) Protecting the Environment and Adapting to Climate Change; 3) Pursuing Human Development and Promoting Social Cohesion; 4) Accelerating Infrastructure Development and Digital Transformation; 5) Strengthening Industry and Services and Enhancing Productivity; 6) Promoting Global Security and International Cooperation; 7) Fostering Good Governance, Public Order and Security, and the Rule of Law; and 8) Achieving Fiscal Stability and Enhancing Public Financial Management.  Amidst an increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous environment, the formulation of a legislative agenda that is truly responsive to and attuned to the conditions and challenges of our times, and geared to enhance national and human security and achieve inclusive growth, becomes all the more necessary.
  • FF2022-51: Regional Poverty Statistics Update
    The Marcos administration is aiming for a 9% poverty incidence by the end of the six-year presidency. From the 18.1% poverty incidence in 2021, five percentage points reduction is targeted in the mid-term, and a further drop of four percentage points by the end of term.
  • FF2022-50: The Philippine Housing and Household Statistics
    Building Safe and Secure Communities is one of the pillars under the Philippine Development Plan 2017- 2022. Two key concerns that the housing sector currently faces are the inadequacy of the sector budget allocation and the growing housing backlog. The latter may be attributed to a number of indicators such as the actual number of housing and land requirements (per area), population size trend, housing loan amounts, and the distribution of informal settler families (ISF).
  • CN2022-02: Exploring Interventions to Reduce Youth Unemployment in the Philippines
    Even prior to the pandemic, the youth aged 15 to 24 years registered relatively higher unemployment rates compared to other age brackets. This problem was magnified during the pandemic as the youth were employed in the most affected sectors—retail, services, and tourism. This paper looks into the problem of youth unemployment. Current policies and programs are analyzed to possibly identify gaps that will help improve intervention. Policy proposals are also presented to help reduce youth unemployment in the country. KEYWORDS:
  • FF2022-49: Performance of ASEAN Cities in the 2022 Digital Cities Index
    The Digital Cities Index (DCI) looks into the extent of digitalization in and application of various digital technologies to help better serve residents and businesses of select 30 cities worldwide. The Index was developed by policy research firm Economist Impact and supported by the Japanese telecommunications and software company NEC Corporation.
  • HSP-05: SECURING THE FUTURE: RECOMMENDATIONS FOR LEGISLATION IN THE 19TH CONGRESS
    Securing the Future: Recommendations for Legislation in the 19th Congress contains a menu of policy proposals which may be considered by the House of Representatives 19th Congress.   Jointly prepared by the Congressional Policy and Budget Research Department and the Committee Affairs Department, this work is based upon a paradigm which focuses mainly on concepts of national security, national development, and human security.  It seeks to provide a proper lens with which to view and analyze issues and challenges at the national, regional and global levels; recognize key legislation enacted by previous Congresses; and recommend legislative measures that may be pursued.  This document is divided into eight major sections, as follows: 1) Revitalizing Agriculture and Attaining Food Security; 2) Protecting the Environment and Adapting to Climate Change; 3) Pursuing Human Development and Promoting Social Cohesion; 4) Accelerating Infrastructure Development and Digital Transformation; 5) Strengthening Industry and Services and Enhancing Productivity; 6) Promoting Global Security and International Cooperation; 7) Fostering Good Governance, Public Order and Security, and the Rule of Law; and 8) Achieving Fiscal Stability and Enhancing Public Financial Management.  Amidst an increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous environment, the formulation of a legislative agenda that is truly responsive to and attuned to the conditions and challenges of our times, and geared to enhance national and human security and achieve inclusive growth, becomes all the more necessary. KEYWORDS:
  • FF2022-48: Impact of the Sin Tax Law on Cigarette Consumption
    The National Survey to Monitor the Impact of the Sin Tax Law (STL) released by the Organic Intelligence, Consulting Inc. in 2020 aims to determine the impact of the STL on Filipinos’ expenditure/consumption of sin products such as alcohol and tobacco. The survey, with a sample size of 1,700 respondents, covers insights on consumption and behavior from 2018 to 2019. Note that the survey results presented here are specific only to smoking and tobacco use.
  • FF2022-47: Philippine Performance in the 2021 Travel & Tourism Development Index
    Overall Performance. The Philippines remained at 75th spot (out of 117 countries) in the 2021 Travel & Tourism Development Report since 2019 which then covered 140 countries. For the past seven years, it was only in 2015 that the country reached a higher rank of 74th spot (out of 141 countries).
  • PB2022-03: An Evaluation of Sin Taxes’ Implementation and Health Expenditure Earmarking
    This paper evaluates the implementation of the sin tax reform during the period 2012 to 2021 using tax and expenditure earmarking indicators provided under the sin tax monitoring framework of the World Bank. During the review period, four tax laws were passed that adjusted the excise taxation on tobacco and alcohol products with objectives to reduce consumption of sin products and generate additional revenues to augment health spending. The findings of the evaluation show that the reform has significantly boosted government revenues during the period, owing to good tax design and regular tax rate adjustments. Consequently, earmarked revenues from sin taxes have increased the budgets of key health programs that expand health insurance coverage, attain the MDG/SDG goals, improve public health facilities, and provide medical assistance to indigents. In the medium term, sin tax revenues are expected to continue to be a sustainable source of health financing based on projections using estimated elasticity of demand of sin products. However, some areas of implementation need close monitoring by the government moving forward, such as revenue leakages due to illicit tobacco trade, the uptick in smoking prevalence, declines in utilization rates of programs funded by sin tax revenues, and transparency of usage of earmarked revenues for tobacco-producing LGUs.  
  • BB2022-01: DIMENSIONS OF THE 2022 NATIONAL GOVERNMENT BUDGET (AS ENACTED UNDER RA NO. 11639)
    With last year’s (2021) budget formulated as a primary tool for “reset, rebound and recovery” while the country battles the continuing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the socio-economic challenges in health and economy, the 2022 National Government (NG) Budget is primarily focused on steering towards a strong and genuine recovery. It was crafted based on three guiding pillars as follows: (1) building a resilient social services sector amidst the pandemic; (2) sustaining the momentum towards economic recovery; and, (3) continuing the investments in infrastructure development.    
  • CN2022-01: THE GROWING PHILIPPINE DIGITAL ECONOMY: A Focus on eCommerce and Digital Payments
    The Philippines is dubbed as the fastest growing digital economy among major ASEAN member-states in 2021. Effectively leveraging digital transformation can propel the country’s economic recovery from the losses brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the uneven and digitally-underdeveloped landscape persists stemming from infrastructure insufficiency, low level of internet literacy, and high cost of connectivity. This paper expounds on the value of the digital economy, and describes the country’s prevalent ICT context. It also discusses the emerging trends and challenges, focusing on the two main sectors: e-Commerce and digital payments. Finally, it summarizes the national government plans and strategic directions to accelerate digitalization, and the proposed key legislations that could address the enumerated issues and challenges of the internet economy. KEYWORDS:  
  • DP2022-01: Estimating the Price Elasticity of Demand for Cigarettes and Alcohol Products in the Philippines
    The study estimated the total price elasticity of demand for cigarette and select alcohol products in the Philippines as an important input for tax policy aimed at reducing alcohol and cigarette consumption and raising much needed government revenues. The estimation was conducted by applying autoregressive error regression on the quarterly time series data of the volume of removals and retail prices of cigarettes and alcohol products in the Philippines over the period 2012 to 2021. The study supports the findings of earlier studies that cigarette consumption is price inelastic. Price elasticity of demand for cigarettes is about -0.83, meaning that a 1% price increase could lead to a 0.83% decrease in consumption. Results for price elasticity of demand for beers is elastic at 1.48, meaning that a 1% increase in the price of beer would produce a 1.48% decrease in consumption. Furthermore, it was found that price elasticity of demand for distilled spirits appears to be unit elastic while wine is highly elastic at 1.03 and 8.51, respectively. The models developed in this study are free from problems on specifications such as serial correlation and heteroscedasticity. Policymakers may consider these results in view of future excise tax reforms.  

CYBERCRIME PREVENTION AND LAW ENFORCEMENT

Immediately after the Cybercrime Prevention Act was enacted into law in September 2012, numerous measures seeking to repeal certain sections of Republic Act No. 10175, specifically on provisions regarding online libel (Content Related Offenses), were filed. Such measure sought to address the matter of online libel which itself was being considered a form of online censorship. This matter was again echoed in the 16th Congress along with the outright repeal of Sections 6, 7 and 9, and the amendment of Section 12, which proposed that the real-time collection of traffic data be undertaken only through an authority of a court warrant. A Supreme Court petition seeking to determine the constitutionality of the Act was also filed.

In a decision last February 2014, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the constitutionality of online libel while declaring Sections 4 (c) (3), 12, and 19 as unconstitutional. The Supreme Court declared that online libel shall apply only to the author or producer of libelous content and not for those that receive, respond, like or share libelous material. In the 17th Congress, a bill was again filed seeking to review these contentious provisions which endanger the right to free speech.

While online libel has been a contentious issue in the Philippines, other jurisdictions contain similar provisions in their cybercrime legislations. In Indonesia for instance, Chapter VII (Prohibited Acts), Article 27 (3) prohibits “any person who knowingly and without authority distributes and/or transmits and/or causes to be accessible Electronic Information and/or Electronic Records with contents of affronts of and/or defamation.” Cambodia’s draft cybercrime law was also heavily criticized for containing similar provisions relating to online libel. Under the proposal, punishable acts include “publication or continuation of publication that deem to be non-factual which slanders or undermine the integrity of any government agencies, ministries, not limited to departments, federal or local levels, is a punishable offense of incarceration from one to three years or a fine of 2,000,000 riels or 6,000,000 riels.”

Thailand’s cybercrime law also punishes defamation and obscenity despite the advice against its inclusion by the United Nations and contrary to its obligations under international law. In particular, Section 16 mandates a punishment of three years imprisonment those that publicly disseminate an image that has been created or edited by electronic means which is “likely to impair the reputation of such other person to hatred or contempt.”

However, it is interesting to note that the Cybercrime Convention only includes child pornography and not online libel as punishable acts. Otherwise known as the “Budapest Convention,” the Cybercrime Convention is the first international treaty on crimes committed via the Internet and other computer networks, dealing particularly with infringements of copyright, computer-related fraud, child pornography and violations of network security. It also contains a series of powers and procedures such as the search of computer networks and interception. Its main objective, set out in the preamble, is to pursue a common criminal policy aimed at the protection of society against cybercrime, especially by adopting appropriate legislation and fostering international co-operation. Other jurisdictions that do not contain libel, slander, or defamation in their cybercrime acts include India, South Korea, Singapore, among others.

Related House Bills:

House Bills 2096

Status:

Under deliberation by the Committee on Information and Communications.

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