Bill seeks ban on cellphone use in banks
MANILA, Philippines–A lawmaker has proposed banning the use of cellphones in banks to prevent the use of gadgets from being used for criminal purposes.
Bulacan Representative Gavini C. Pancho filed House Bill 5033 titled “An Act banning the use of cellular phones or similar devices inside banks and providing penalty for violation thereof,” to be known as the “Cell Phone in Banks Prohibition Act of 2014.”
Pancho said cellphones and similar devices are being used for criminal activities.
“The use of cell phones, laptops, palmtops, radio transmitters, and similar equipment has been exploited for illicit activities,” Pancho said.
The solon said some banks have already banned cellphones in their buildings to avoid possible exchange of information among criminals.
But there has yet to be a law to put the ban into legislation, Pancho said.
“However, in the Philippines this security challenged has yet to be fully addressed by existing legislation. The provisions of HB 5033 shall cover all banks operating in the country and apply to bank employees, customers and persons inside a banking establishment,” Pancho said.
Under the bill, clients and other persons using their cellular phones or similar devices will not be allowed inside banking premises.
If already inside the bank, they will be ordered to leave the premises should the need to use their phones arises.
Bank employees are also banned from using their phones in common areas.
They may, however, use their phones during lunch break or other breaks, as well as in a private place away from clients.
Phones should also be on silent mode during work hours.
“Banking staff that will be observed using their cellular phones within the area of the bank in public view during official working hours must be immediately reported to the manager and security guard on duty for appropriate action of the banking management,” the bill read.
Only doctors and emergency health care practitioners will be allowed to use their phones in the banks as long as the use of it is related to his or her duties.
Except qualified doctors and other health professionals, those violating the bill will be fined with P1,000 at the most and detained in a nearby detention facility of the barangay or police station that has jurisdiction over the bank.
The bill also requires banks to include the provisions of the bill in their employee manuals.
The bill also penalizes banks which does not comply with the bill with a P2,000 fine and/or suspension.
Failure of the management to control their personnel is also punishable under the bill.