The House of Representatives has approved on its second reading a bill seeking to punish dissemination of false life threats, such as bomb threats.
House Bill 9059 or the proposed Anti-False Bomb Threat Act aims to ensure protection from spreading information on false "bomb threats, explosives or any life-threatening or destructive materials which can cause damaging effects to life and property."
The bill also includes a provision defining life-threatening materials, which cover explosives, poison gases, grenades, rockets, missiles, and other weapons which are "capable of causing death."
The proposed law also prohibits disseminating false threats on the modes of communication such as mail, telephone, fax, machine, printed materials, and social media, among others.
Under the suggested law, violators will be imprisoned for not more than one year and be fined P50,000 depending on the gravity of the offense.
The bill seeks to amend a working measure prohibiting bomb threats made effective through Presidential Decree 1727, which was signed during Martial Law, where violators are fined P40,000.
Marikina City 2nd District Rep. Romero Quimbo, the principal author of the bill, highlighted on the effects of false bomb threats, saying these cause "uneccessary anxiety" to people.
“Every false bomb threat which alarms an area leads to unnecessary anxiety for the people, disruption of regular activities, economic costs from the opportunity lost for productivity due to evacuation activities, waste of law enforcement and emergency response resources as well as time spent which should have been used for more pressing public concerns, among others,” he said in a statement.