TOP | 2015 | Weekly Column | CyberSecurity in the Philippine Government: An Overview

CyberSecurity in the Philippine Government: An Overview
Content Development and Web Coordination Staff
Mr. Jose Lorenzo C. Abuel
The dawn of modern technology in the Philippines has been accepted with gusto by the Filipinos. With the introduction of cellular phones in the late 1990s, the country became the texting capital of the world in just a few years. Currently, people from all walks of life subscribe to the latest gadgets in the market, being in tune with the rest of the world. With these developments, however, the challenge of digital responsibility is posed to the nation as cybercrimes have become rampant in the public. Recently, there have been instances of phishing in the country which led to the depletion of an individual's funds in one of the local banks.

With this in mind, Mr. Renato del Rosario of the CyberSecurity group of the ICT Office delivered a talk at the Tech4Ed (Technology for Education) Project MOU Signing in Dagupan. He discussed the different laws that exist in the country as protection for an individual's digital rights. Some of the laws he mentioned were: 1) Access Devices Regulation Act of 1998 - which protects the rights and define the liabilities of parties in such commercial transactions by regulating the issuance and use of access devices, 2) Electronic Commerce Act of 2000 - an act providing for the recognition and use of electronic commercial and non-commercial transactions and documents, penalties for unlawful use thereof and for other purposes, 3) Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009 - an act that protects every child from all forms of exploitation and abuse including, but not limited to: (a) the use of a child in pornographic performances and materials; and (b) the inducement or coercion of a child to engage or be involved in pornography through whatever means, and 4) Data Privacy Act of 2012 - an act protecting individual personal information in information and communications systems in the government and the private sector, creating for this purpose a national privacy commission, and for other purposes.

He cites that all of these are in relation to the 2004 CyberSecurity Plan, which aims to protect the socio-economic well-being, political stability and national security priorities of the Philippines; noting that "we have a big population of Internet users, but at the same time, most of them are misinformed and are vulnerable to attacks." In end, Mr. del Rosario notes that everyone should adapt the best practices of digitization, which are basically educating one's self, being aware of the current trends, using legal softwares and sites, purchasing only from reputable sites, protecting private information, and knowing the laws that protect one's cybersecurity.