Press Release
April 29, 2008


Senator Bong Revilla pushes for the imprisonment of individuals and groups engaged in minor or large-scale cable and internet tapping, in the wake of the reported proliferation of cable television and internet piracy in the country.

Revilla filed Senate Bill No. 2180 or the "Anti Cable Television and Cable Internet Pilferage Act of 2008" that would protect the public and legitimate operators of Cable Television (CATV) system and cable internet services against cable and internet tapping.

In telecommunications, cable internet refers to a form of broadband internet access, where access to the internet via the same infrastructure used for cable television.

Declared unlawful under SB2180 are illegal tapping of any signal or service offered over CATV; engaging in the unauthorized importation, sale, lease, distribution or possession of CATV-related electronic equipment; and the malicious destruction or removal of authorized CATV or cable internet facilities.

Violators will be punished by an imprisonment term of not less than two years but not more than five years, or a fine ranging from Fifty Thousand Pesos to One Hundred Thousand Pesos, or both at the discretion of the court.

"The public must recognize the contribution of CATV and the internet in the comprehensive transmission of information worldwide but the due recognition should not be to the extent of illegally intercepting cable signals or services," Revilla pointed out.

In his capacity as chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Information and Mass Media, Revilla today (Tuesday, April 29) held a public hearing on the proposed Senate bills, including SB2180, which would address the rampant stealing of cable signals or services.

The senator cited figures from the Cable Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia (CASBAA) that showed the Philippines having the second highest number of illegal cable and satellite TV subscribers among Asian countries, with the revenue losses of local cable industry in the year 2005 of more than 5 billion.

"The local cable TV industry continues to be hounded by piracy, with an estimated P7 billion lost to illegal connections. Illegal cable subscribers run to 2.5 million, outnumbering the 1.5 million legal subscribers. Because of this, the government is losing P1 billion annually in tax revenues," Revilla said.

The lawmaker stressed that is no existing law that addresses large scale pilferage of cable wires and cable transmissions in the Philippines . He added that the government must response to the clamor of Cable TV (CATV) providers for a law that would shield them against the high incidence of cable theft.

"Cable TV theft not only causes huge operational losses on the part of CATV operators, but also greatly affects the signal and standard of service on the part of the subscribers. The unauthorized tapping into the systems of cable operators poses grave and severe threats to the existence and survival of the CATV and cable internet industry," he explained.

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