Senator Win Gatchalian is seeking to reinstate the cut in the National Bureau of Investigation’s (NBI) proposed P2.3-billion budget for 2023 to intensify the government’s cybercrime prevention efforts.
He aired his concern that the National Expenditure Program (NEP) trimmed the NBI’s 2023 budget to P1.8 billion from its actual budget this year of P2.3 billion.
This includes the lowering of the agency’s fund for its anti-cybercrime enforcement unit to P21.2 million or a cut of almost 20 percent compared to this year’s P26.4 million.
“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.
He noted that 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 Registration bill.
Gatchalian guaranteed he would help reinstate the proposed NBI budget for next year.
“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 SIMs 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.
The senator underscored the need to give the needed support to the NBI to avert local criminals who have become sophisticated nowadays.
“If we want to boost the agency’s fight against cybercrimes, let us give them all support,” he said.