Legarda Seeks Senate Concurrence in Cybercrime Convention, Agreement Establishing AMRO, and Double Taxation Avoidance Treaties

February 12, 2018

Senator Loren Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, today sponsored five resolutions seeking the Senate’s concurrence in the ratification of five treaties.


Legarda sponsored Senate Resolution No. (SRN) 613, Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) Between the Philippines and Mexico; SRN 614, Agreement Establishing the ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO) as an International Organization; SRN 615, DTAA Between the Philippines and Thailand; SRN 616, Budapest Convention on Cybercrime; and SRN 617, DTAA Between the Philippines and Sri Lanka.


The Budapest Convention on Cybercrime aims to address the threats posed by cybercrime and facilitates multilateral cooperation and enhanced collective capability to suppress cybercrime.


A major feature of the Convention is the track towards the harmonization of domestic legal procedures of state parties, with the intention of, among others, addressing the emergence of so-called ‘safe havens’. These ‘areas’ are created when certain activities are not criminalized in a specific country. This results in individuals and/ or organized groups being able to act with impunity in committing offenses in these countries.


“This treaty is very important to protect our people from cybercrime especially since the country is the number one haven for those committing child pornography,” said Legarda.


According to the UNICEF, the Philippines is the number one global source of child pornography and a hub for the live-stream sexual-abuse trade. Around 8 out of every 10 Filipino children are at risk of online sexual abuse or bullying.


Meanwhile, the DTAAs generally provide for the elimination of double taxation between the Philippines and Thailand, Sri Lanka and Mexico.


To promote cross-border trade and investment, these agreements seek to (1) allocate taxing jurisdiction so as to avoid double taxation; (2) reduce source-State taxation; (3) prohibit discrimination based on alienage, foreign organization, or foreign ownership; and (4) promote resolution of situations in which the income taxable by one Contracting State as opposed to the other Contracting State is in question.


Finally, the Agreement Establishing the ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO) will constitute AMRO as an international organization with full legal personality.


It seeks to contribute to securing the economic and financial stability of the region through the conduct of regional economic surveillance and by supporting the implementation of the regional financial arrangement.


To date, the Philippines is the only ASEAN+3 member state that has not yet ratified the AMRO Agreement. In this situation, the country is exposed to reputational risk in terms of its commitment to the ASEAN+3 Cooperation.


“The international organization status will afford the AMRO an intangible capital that can give it access to intelligence, research and other resources owned by other international organizations, and regional and global fora. This will provide greater macroeconomic surveillance capability for the institution, and consequently benefit the Philippines as one of its clients together with other ASEAN+3 Members,” said Legarda.