Estrada files bill seeking to educate, protect senior citizens vs. scams

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 28) — Senator Jinggoy Estrada has filed a bill that aims to educate and protect senior citizens from cybercrimes.

Walang manloloko kung walang magpapaloko. At walang mabibiktima kung sila ay may alam sa mga istilo ng mga scammer,” Estrada said in a statement released on Sunday.

[Translation: There can be no scammers if no one can be scammed. And no one can be victimized if they are educated about the schemes of these scammers.]

Senate Bill 671, or the Senior Citizens’ Fraud Education Act, “aims to protect senior citizens against fraudulent activities through proactive and centralized information and education campaigns.”

The proposed measure aims to form a centralized inter-agency service for consumer education on mail, telemarketing, and internet fraud targeting the elderly.

It mandates the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to lead and coordinate with the Justice and Health departments and the Philippine Postal Corporation prior to implementing regular information dissemination programs for senior citizens, as well as their family and caregivers.

This should include general information on different types of fraud, and ways to report these illegal schemes, the bill said.

The DTI should also partner with the National Commission of Senior Citizens and the Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs of local government units in conducting its information dissemination program.

“A website will be maintained to provide the needed information to help detect scams related to financial products and services, lending and investment instruments, insurance products, text scams and other fraudulent activities,” Estrada noted.

In terms of identifying the different nature of scams and cybercrimes, the Trade department shall collaborate with agencies like the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Securities and Exchange Commission, Insurance Commission, National Telecommunications Commission, National Bureau of Investigation, Philippine National Police, and Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center, the bill stated.