Senator Bong Go commended the signing into law of Republic Acts (RA) 11449, 11458 and 11448.

RA 11449, also known as “An Act Providing for Additional Prohibitions to and Increasing Penalties for Violations of Republic Act No. 8484, or the ‘Access Devices Regulation Act of 1998,'” declares bank system hacking and automated teller machine (ATM) skimming as acts of economic sabotage which will now warrant stiffer punishment and penalties, such as life imprisonment and payment of fines of up to P5 million.

Go, a staunch supporter of the government’s fight against criminality, understands that tougher laws against lawless elements of society will further boost the country’s growing economy.

“Businesses, both big and small, need not fear of threats to their livelihood if we legislate higher penalties against criminality, improving our security,” the legislator said.

Under RA 11449, mere possession of any type of skimming device or even illegal attempts to access an application or online banking account will also now be punishable without regards as to whether the attempt resulted to actual monetary loss to the account holder or not.

Meanwhile, RA 11458, expands the coverage of exemptions regarding the revelation of sources of published news or information obtained in confidence by including journalists from broadcast and news agencies.

Under the new law, “any publisher, owner or duly recognized or accredited journalist, writer, reporter, editor, columnist and media practitioner involved in writing, editing, production and dissemination of news for mass circulation, whether in print, broadcast or electronic mass media, cannot be compelled to reveal the source of any news item, report or information.”

The amended law, RA 53, passed in 1946, and later amended by RA 1477 in 1956, did not think of electronic journalism yet as the internet was, then, still non-existent.

RA 11458 bolsters freedom of the press in the country which Go fully supports. In his previous statements, Go acknowledged the important role of the press freedom in honing an informed and enlightened citizenry.

“The government fully recognizes the contributions of journalists in our quest to build a better and more prosperous nation.”

“The government fully recognizes the contributions of journalists in our quest to build a better and more prosperous nation and attain sustainable development for the benefit of our people. Press freedom plays a vital role in creating an informed and enlightened citizenry. By providing individuals with the chance to gain and impart knowledge, you help foster public discourse and bring meaningful and lasting change in our society,” the lawmaker said.

Finally, RA 11448, also known as “The Transnational Higher Education Act” aims for Filipinos to have better access to quality higher degree programs of foreign universities by allowing foreign institutions to establish their presence in the Philippines.

The new law provides that the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) will be mandated to “formulate a coherent national strategy encouraging and facilitating the establishment of the most effective forms of transnational higher education programs and institutions.”

Various modes were also identified in the measure to allow Foreign Higher Education Institutions (FHEIs) to establish a commercial presence or engage in the business of providing educational services in the country.

“The law is in line with my advocacy on education.”

The law is also in line with the senator’s advocacy on education, which he recently reinforced by filing Senate Bill (SB) No. 395, also known as the “Advanced Nursing Education Act of 2019” calling for the further improvement of Philippine nursing education.

“Alam po ninyong lahat kung gaano kahalaga kay Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte na mabigyan ng de-kalidad na edukasyon ang ating kabataan. Sa kanyang administrasyon, napatupad ang libreng tuition sa lahat ng pampublikong unibersidad. Sa Senado, titiyakin ko pong magiging tuloy-tuloy ang programang yan at lahat ng mga proyekto ng Pangulo para sa edukasyon,” he said in his previous statement.


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