A SENATOR has filed a resolution seeking an inquiry to strengthen legislation on cybersecurity, following a series of online theft incidents that victimized public school teachers.

“The Senate must spearhead an inquiry, in aid of legislation, on strengthening existing pertinent legislation on cybersecurity in close cooperation with law enforcement,” Senator Richard J. Gordon, Sr. said in a statement on Sunday. 

He filed Senate Resolution 987 directing the upper chamber to investigate the rising number of reported cases of government employees losing money in their bank accounts.

The Department of Justice, in an order dated Jan. 25, has directed the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to “conduct an investigation and case build-up on alleged phishing schemes victimizing teachers” with accounts with the state-owned Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK). 

Phishing is the fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies to induce individuals to reveal personal information such as passwords or credit card numbers. 

Nonprofit organization Teachers’ Dignity Coalition, in a statement on Friday, said they have so far received 49 complaints and initially forwarded 26 cases to the NBI, including 19 that were earlier sent by the Department of Education. 

The group said all the complaints received amount to about P1.9 million, with the highest individual loss at  P292,130. 

“The Senate is compelled to act on the vicious commission of cybercrimes against the Filipino people, particularly against teachers and other public servants, private employees, and businesses taking away their hard-earned savings, violating their financial security, assaulting their cybersecurity, and disregarding their rights,” Mr. Gordon said. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan