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Collaboration to Bolster Cybersecurity in the Philippines

Image credit: Philippine Information Agency
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To improve data management practices and ensure the ethical use of information, the Philippine Statistics Authority-Regional Statistical Services Office (PSA-RSSO)-10 collaborated with the Gingoog City government to organise a training session on data privacy, security, and cybersecurity. The training focussed on the Community-Based Monitoring System (CBMS) and targeted the department heads and information officers of the city.

Image credit: Philippine Information Agency

According to a press release, 58 participants attended the training session. The event sought to equip the city government’s CBMS data personnel with essential data protection knowledge. Attendees learnt about key aspects of the Data Privacy Act of 2012, including its risk management procedures.

The training was led by PSA-RSSO Supervising Statistical Specialist Brenda Lynn Castro and CBMS Statistical Analyst Glenda Bazar. It covered several areas including, Data Privacy Act of 2012 for CBMS Data Turnover Orientation, Security Measures, Cybersecurity Risk Management and Responsibilities of Focal Persons and Information System Analysts or Information Technology Officers in Case of Data Breaches or Security Incidents.

An open forum was also held to address and clarify any inquiries raised by the participants. Furthermore, to gauge participants’ understanding of the topic, PSA-10 conducted a pretest before the training and a post-test afterwards.

In his address, City Administrator Enrique Guevarra emphasised the increasing significance of data privacy, security, and cybersecurity in the contemporary digital era. He highlighted the crucial nature of data and its vulnerability to hacking, misuse, or mishandling. The widespread adoption of technology has naturally led to a surge in cybercrime.

City Planning and Development Coordinator Elsa Maquiling spoke about the role of the Data Privacy Act in promoting the mental well-being of individuals. Individuals should be reassured knowing that their information is being safeguarded and protected against cybercriminals. She encouraged active participation in the discussion to harness the power of information.

The press release said that through the implementation of this training, the Gingoog city government underscores its dedication to maintaining data privacy and bolstering cybersecurity across its departments and within the community. PSA-10 affirms its ongoing commitment to empowering local government units by providing them with the necessary tools and knowledge for secure data management, it said.

The government has been actively working to enhance security in the digital realm through the initiation of various programmes and schemes. Last month, the Department of Information and Communications Technology’s (DICT) Cybersecurity Bureau (CSB) revealed the draft National Cybersecurity Plan 2023-2028. As OpenGov Asia reported, it addresses cybersecurity challenges by providing stakeholders with crucial insights, which empowers them to enhance the resilience of Critical Information Infrastructures (CIIs). Additionally, it serves as a gateway for accessing government assistance in the face of cybersecurity incidents.

The plan underscores the significance of collaboration among government agencies to safeguard cyberspace. It outlines steps on how government agencies can coordinate their cybersecurity initiatives through the National Cybersecurity Inter-Agency Committee (NCIAC).

The draft NCS 2023-2028 focuses on six elements. It advocates for the implementation of the “Cybersecurity Act” to strengthen the policy framework. It aims to secure and protect CIIs and proactively defend the government and people in cyberspace. It intends to establish a well-coordinated network of Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) and Security Operations Centres. It will enhance workforce capabilities in cybersecurity and will boost international cooperation in the realm of cybersecurity.


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