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Legarda to Sponsor Cybercrime Convention, Agreement Establishing AMRO, and Agreements on Avoidance of Double Taxation

February 6, 2018

Senator Loren Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, is ready to sponsor five international agreements next week following the public hearing conducted today.

 

Legarda will sponsor the following treaties: Budapest Convention on Cybercrime; Agreement Establishing ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO); and, three separate Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements (DTAA) between the Philippines and Thailand, Sri Lanka and Mexico. 

 

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 has become a top global source of child pornography with around 80% of Filipino children at risk of online sexual abuse or bullying.

 

Meanwhile, 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.

 

Legarda said that it is important for the country to ratify the Agreement so that it may fully benefit from surveillance services of the AMRO and participate in its governance structure.

 

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.

 

Finally, the last set of agreements generally provides for the elimination of double taxation between the Philippines and Thailand, Sri Lanka and Mexico.

 

These DTAAs are intended to promote international trade and investment, primarily by allocating taxing jurisdiction between the Contracting States to eliminate or mitigate double taxation on income. They are widely pursued by countries to avoid a situation of discouraging cross national economic activities.

 

Legarda is set to sponsor and seek the Senate’s concurrence in the ratification of the five treaties on Monday, February 12, 2018.