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Global Bitcoin Regulations

Global Bitcoin Regulations

Given that Bitcoins are entirely electronic, there are several drawbacks to its use. Bitcoins are not backed by anything in the physical world like conventional currencies, so users are at risk to volatility of prices and of losing money easily through online security breaches. An example of this is the website “Mt. Gox”, a leading online exchange platform for bitcoin, which was forced to go offline in 2011 due to a hacking incident where over 60,000 usernames and passwords were stolen.[1] The incident resulted in bitcoin value exchange crashing from USD 17.50 to USD 0.01 per bitcoin. In March 2014, […]

Bitcoin 101

Bitcoin 101

Bitcoin is a fully digital and decentralized “cryptocurrency”. First launched in 2009, it has since become the first cryptocurrency to capture the public imagination.[1] A cryptocurrency has been defined as “[a] digital or virtual currency that uses cryptography for security.”[2] As a digital currency, it is both created and held electronically. Like conventional currency it can be used to facilitate exchanges for goods and services. However, unlike conventional money, it is neither backed by gold or silver nor regulated by any centralized authority. Rather they are mathematically generated by a procedure called “mining” where computers are used to solve mathematical […]

The Philippine E-Government Fund

The Philippine E-Government Fund

The Philippine Government has a vision of e-governance—that ICT should be used to effect good governance through a more efficient delivery of services to its citizens.[1] As envisioned, E-Government is the government’s use of web-based internet applications and other information and communications technologies combined with processes to enhance the access to and delivery of government services and bring about improvements in, among other things, effectiveness, efficiency, service quality or transformation of government operations.[2] According to the CICT, ICT will be used in streamlining and simplifying government processes, within and across agencies, and integrating systems and networks to allow swift exchange […]

Paperless Taxes: An Introduction to the eFPS

Paperless Taxes: An Introduction to the eFPS

The Electronic Filing and Payment System (eFPS) is “a system developed and maintained by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) for electronically filing tax returns, including attachments, if any, and paying taxes due thereon, specifically through the internet.”[1] With the eFPS, taxpayers can prepare a paperless tax return and can pay online through an internet-banking service via debit facility from their enrolled bank account.[2] Since eFPS is available online, taxpayers can file and pay for their taxes anytime and anywhere with an internet connection.[3] This system was first introduced by the BIR through Revenue Regulation (RR) 09-2001 issued on Aug. […]

E-Payment and Collection in the Philippines: A Primer

E-Payment and Collection in the Philippines: A Primer

In line with the Government’s thrust to provide a more efficient payment and collection service for government transactions, the E-Commerce Act of 2000 encouraged government entities to provide a platform for the acceptance of electronic payments. Thus, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Finance (DOF) issued a Joint Department Administrative Order[1] to provide for guidelines on the implementation of an Electronic Payment and Collection System (EPCS) for the payment of fees, charges, assessments and other revenues due to the government. The latest DTI-DOF Order No. 10-01, lays down specific guidelines on the use of access […]

RA 10644: The Go Negosyo Act

RA 10644: The Go Negosyo Act

On 15 July 2014, President Benigno S. Aquino III signed into law Republic Act No. 10644, otherwise known as the Go Negosyo Act. The law was principally authored by the President’s cousin, Senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV. In its Declaration of Policy, we find that the law was enacted to strengthen Micro, Small and Medium sized Enterprises (“MSME”) in order to “facilitate local job creation, production and trade in the country” by establishing Negosyo Centers in every province city and municipality. These centers will act as a one-stop-shop for registration, promotion, coordination and partnerships with MSME’s. They shall provide […]

RA 10641: An Act Allowing the Full Entry of Foreign Banks in the Philippines

RA 10641: An Act Allowing the Full Entry of Foreign Banks in the Philippines

In May 1994, with the aim of “[enhancing] the country’s competitiveness in the international market,” Republic Act No. 7721 (“RA 7721”) otherwise known as “An Act Liberalizing the Entry and Scope of Operations of Foreign Banks in the Philippines and for other Purposes” was signed into law. Composed of fifteen sections, RA 7721 provided for the state policy in relation to the entry of foreign banks in the Philippines, the different modes of entry, the guidelines and requirements for the approval of such entry, and the head office guarantee, among other things. This law that was enacted to “create a […]

RA 10642: The Lemon Law

RA 10642: The Lemon Law

A Primer A. Introduction Republic Act 10642, or the Lemon Law, endeavors to protect consumers should they purchase new, albeit nonconforming, motor vehicles from manufacturers, distributors, dealers, or retailers (collectively, “Seller”). This Primer seeks to present the rights of such consumers, and the concurrent obligations of the Seller under the Lemon Law. B. The Lemon Law 1. What motor vehicles are covered under the Lemon Law? The Lemon Law covers only brand new motor vehicles: meaning vehicles constructed entirely from new parts, and have never been sold nor operated in any country. The Lemon Law further limits its coverage to […]

RA 10627: The Anti-Bullying Act

RA 10627: The Anti-Bullying Act

A Primer A. Introduction Republic Act 10627, or the Anti-Bullying Act (the “Act”), aims to protect children enrolled in kindergarten, elementary, and secondary schools and learning centers (collectively, “Schools”) from being bullied. It requires Schools to adopt policies to address the existence of bullying in their respective institutions. B. Bullying 1. What is Bullying? Bullying, as defined under the Act, is any severe or repeated use by one or more students of a written, verbal or electronic expression, or a physical act or gesture, or any combination thereof, directed at another student that has the effect of actually causing or […]

Facebook and the Expectation of Privacy

Facebook and the Expectation of Privacy

An Analysis of Vivares v STC In 2012, news came out involving the case of students who were not able to attend their high school commencement exercises after the school found out that photos where they were wearing bikinis and drinking alcohol were posted on Facebook. Aggrieved, the parents of the children filed a petition for a writ of habeas data which the Regional Trial Court (RTC) dismissed in July 2012. Two years hence, the Supreme Court (Court) affirmed the decision of the RTC and found that there is no violation of the privacy rights of the minors. The facts, […]