MANILA— Senator Loren Legarda on Tuesday said she was ready to sponsor five international agreements next week following the conclusion of a public hearing conducted by the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.
Legarda, the committee’s chairman, said she would seek the Senate’s concurrence on the following treaties on Monday next wek: the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime; the 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 United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Philippines has become a top global source of child pornography with around 80 percent of Filipino children at risk of online sexual abuse or bullying.
The Philippines has already committed to the treaty but has yet to sign.
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.
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.
In the meantime, 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.
DTAAs are widely pursued by countries to avoid a situation of discouraging cross national economic activities.