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Cybersecurity Course, Pension Digitalisation in the Philippines

According to Michael G. Regino, President and CEO, Social Security System (SSS), digitalisation of pension fund services remains one of the top priorities in the Philippines, and more online services will be added to its digital channels. “In 2021, out of the 52.62 million transactions we received, excluding inquiries, 43.52 million or 82.7% were made using our online channels.”

Currently, its website provides convenient access to more than 30 member services and over 20 employer services. These services include, among other things, transactions for membership, contributions, loan granting and repayment, and benefits disbursements. Some of these services are also available via other SSS online channels.

Because the website is the agency’s primary online channel, almost all new online services are made available through this. However, increased efforts are being made to make the services in this portal available also in the SSS Mobile App for smartphone users. The agency is gradually making online transactions for its programme mandatory. Those without personal means to transact online may, however, use the e-Centres in branches.

Meanwhile, a TESDA official stated that the organisation is currently looking into developing a cybersecurity training programme in collaboration with other countries. As the country transitions to the 5th Industrial Revolution, which primarily concerns and involves the internet and computer software, this would benefit the government, and enterprises for ease of doing business, and could aid in the prevention of cyber-attacks

Cybersecurity, on the other hand, is unlike other information and communications technology (ICT) courses -it is multidisciplinary, and the main goal is to reduce the risk of cyber-attacks and protect against the unlawful use of technologies, systems, or networks.

According to TESDA, students must also learn about various hacking techniques, such as phishing, which involves tricking victims into clicking a malicious link. Phishing can be avoided technically, but it can also be avoided more effectively if one is knowledgeable about cybersecurity.

The suggested Competency Standards are presently being discussed by TESDA with its ICT Office and Qualifications and Standards Office. To improve the concept of guidelines and capabilities, a TESDA board member has been designated. After the board has recognised the Qualification Standard, it will take between three to six months to prepare advisers and trainers for the new course.

To establish the new training programme, TESDA is considering a collaboration with other nation that provides advanced cybersecurity training to their citizenry. Therefore, the Philippines may benefit greatly from this relationship. Additionally, the agency is open to collaborations with other countries that are eager to help with the creation of the Cybersecurity National Certification.

TESDA is now providing several ICT-related courses such as Visual Graphic Design, Broadband/Cable/TV Installation, Game Programming, Telecom OSP and Subscriber Line Installation, Telecom Fibre Optic Cable, Visual Graphic Design, and Web Development, among others.

Furthermore, as part of a five-day Subject Matter Expert Exchange (SMEE) with its Pacific-based counterpart in the US Army, the Philippine Army (PA) is bolstering its cybersecurity and defensive capabilities.

The five-day SMEE’s main topics included active defence operations theory, defensive cyber operations doctrine, cyber defence tools, and cyber operations in a coalition context. The cybersecurity SMEE was delivered through lectures, practical exercises, and displays of various cyber technologies.

Through the growth of the cyber workforce’s talents and skills, the bilateral action will strengthen the Army’s cyber defence capabilities. Developing a credible and responsive defence posture capable of effectively countering rapidly developing threats requires the ongoing improvement of PA’s cyber-related capabilities.

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