DICT appeals to Congress: Allocate add’l funds for PH cybersecurity

Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Secretary Ivan John Uy urged the 19th Congress to allocate additional funds for the strengthening of the country’s cybersecurity.

The appeal was made at a Commission on Appointments (CA) committee hearing held on Tuesday, Dec. 6.

“This is one of the primary concerns of our agency in building up our cybersecurity as well as our cyberdefense capability. We have to secure against organized cyber criminals, but we have to prepare for state-sponsored cyberattacks,” said Uy.

In the same public hearing, Uy disclosed that two European countries – Albania and Montenegro, recently suffered from cyberattacks. This, according to Uy, is one of the reasons why the country needs to be “aware of its current cybersecurity situation.”

He, however, stressed that it needs to be “addressed rapidly on a scale that has never been done in the past.”

DICT Secretary Uy at the Commission on Appointments committee hearing held on Tuesday, Dec. 6 (Screengrab / CA)

“We appeal to Congress to provide us with the means to do so. Sadly, our cybersecurity budget was cut in half for this year. We do not have any funds at all to acquire cybersecurity equipment in order to protect our digital infrastructure,” said Uy.

“We have the capability, we have the people, we have the desire to do it, but Congress has to give us ammunition, give us arms, so we can fight for our country,” he added.

According to the DICT official, the agency is already launching several cybersecurity initiatives. Among these were the National Cybersecurity Framework and the National Cybersecurity Plan for 2023 to 2028.