The Philippines has an insufficient number of cybersecurity professionals, Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Secretary Ivan John Uy admitted in a press briefing on Tuesday, Dec. 20.
One of the primary concerns of the DICT is to build up the country’s cybersecurity and cyberdefence capability. Uy, however, admitted that to date, the Philippines still has an insufficient number of cybersecurity experts.
“Kulang na kulang tayo. Actually, when we talk about certified cybersecurity experts, we only have about 200 of them in the country. Compared to Singapore, which has about 3,000. Napakaliit na bansa ang Singapore, pero ganon ang numbers nila (We do not have enough. Actually, when we talk about certified cybersecurity experts, we only have about 200 of them in the country. Compared to Singapore, which has about 3,000. Singapore is a very small country, but their numbers are that high),” said Uy.
Of the estimated number of 200 cybersecurity professionals in the Philippines, only 30 percent are in the country. At least 70 percent are working abroad.
Building up the interest, developing necessary talents
Many Filipinos, according to Uy, are talented and, in fact, knowledgeable when it comes to the field of information and communications technology, but most do not qualify for jobs because they do not have credentials or certification.
To address this issue, Uy stressed that the department is working on building up the public’s interest in the field by launching programs to “aggressively provide the technical know-how.”
“We are deploying skills upgrading in order to get our young people interested in the digital skills that will be necessary to answer the needs of our employers. The DICT is working with all our educational partners from the private sector as well as government institutions like Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Department of Education (DepED), and Commission on Higher Education (CHED) in order to deploy materials and certification programs,” Uy stressed.
Apart from training and short-term digital literacy programs, Uy said that the DICT is hoping to provide scholarship programs to be able to build up more competency in the following areas: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.