MANILA – Even if most of the provisions of the controversial Cybercrime Prevention Act have been declared constitutional by the Supreme Court, don't expect a sharp reduction in cybercrimes in the Philippines.
This is because the government agency principally tasked to implementing the law lacks funds and resources.
Speaking at Microsoft Philippines’ Cybersecurity Forum in Makati Shangri-La, NBI Cybercrime Division Special Investigator Joey Narciso said they need up-to-date equipment and the necessary training to effectively track and investigate cybercrimes committed in the country.
“Unang-una, lack of support from the government, lack of funds, lack of training.
“[We will be needing] cellphone forensic examination software that will cost at least P1.6 million. Iba pa 'yung sa computer. 'Yung sa computer, 'yung sa forensic tower, P1.8 million. Ang software ay P150,000 more or less. Ang forensic software, they need an update yearly and the price of the update is at least 20% of the original price [which is] very expensive…And we also need a van or a car because if I will carry that equipment, maho-hold-up ako. So we need a van para secured kami kung mag-examine kami on-site, nandun ‘yung everything we can use.”
He added that the forensic equipment used to investigate cybercrimes have to be updated regularly in order to adapt to rapid technological changes.
In an interview with ABS-CBNNews.com, Narciso revealed that Senators Loren Legarda and Tito Sotto have already pledged funding for the NBI Cybercrime Division.
The pledge was made after NBI personnel tracked a member of the hacker-activists group Anonynmous Philippines in Butuan City, Agusan del Norte last November.
“Right now, may nai-pledge nang amount ang Senate as a result nung arrest namin doon sa Anonymous [Philippines member] sa Butuan. After the arrest kasi, natuwa sila so nag-pledge sila ng P39 million for the upgrade of the [NBI] Cybercrime Division, from Senator Legarda and Senator Sotto.”
He said that the additional funds will be used to for the purchase of necessary equipment and for training of their current personnel.
“Siguro equipment muna and training ng current personnel natin. The [fund] is not sufficient but it is a very good head start.”
But despite these difficulties, Narciso said the NBI Cybercrime Division is operational. He said they expect the rest of their equipment to be fully functional in June.
“Fully operational na [ang NBI Forensics Department]. Our equipment will be operational within the year. Actually baka masimulan namin 'yon by June, ma-implement na.”