PNP needs additional 1,500 cybercops- Azurin

The Philippine National Police (PNP) needs at least 1,500 more personnel for its Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG) in order to effectively respond to the growing threats and incidents of criminal activities in cyberspace.

In response, PNP chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin, Jr. said they would be requesting a fund for the recruitment of at least 500 policemen who will be assigned to the ACG, the PNP's main arm against all cyber security challenges.

"Our ACG needs more personnel who would man different offices and functions of the ACG. So by next year, we will be proposing at least 500 additional ACG personnel to be part of the recruitment," said Azurin during the blessing and turnover ceremony of the new ACG Building at Camp Crame.

Currently, the ACG has a strength of almost 1,000 nationwide.

Past PNP leaders had emphasized the need to strengthen law enforcement and crime prevention online amid the increase of cybercrimes in the past years, especially at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic when most of the people went online.

Most of the victims would choose not to report cybercrime over the perception that the country has weak law enforcement capability against cybercrime.

If the proposal is approved, Azurin said the focus of the recruitment is IT experts.

"We will be requiring our ACG and our Directorate for Information and Communications Technology Management (DICTM) to come up with a proposal on the qualification of the personnel who would be recruited for ACG," said Azurin.

"But what is important is that the recruits must have knowledge on technology, specifically IT," he added.