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Philippines Considering Bills for National Cybersecurity Transformation

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. will review three pending bills from the senate that support the government’s Digital Transformation Framework.

The Digital Transformation Framework enables the development of additional information and communication technology policies. Infrastructure, competency projects, and other initiatives to improve the nation’s cybersecurity.

Among the priority legislation is the proposed Cybersecurity Act that focuses on modernizing a cyber inter-agency arm responsible for overseeing national digital resilience.

The second bill, called the Anti-Mule Act, aims to mitigate fraudulent activities across existing financial accounts in the country.

Meanwhile, the third bill, the Online Site Blocking Bill, plans to establish online blocking solutions against websites associated with pirated content.

“The President informed [Private Sector Advisory Council] in a Palace meeting that he will look into those bills and see how and what can be done to move them in Congress for their eventual passage,” Presidential Communications Office Secretary Cheloy Garafil stated.

Cyberattacks in the Philippines

In a Philippine Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) report, the country was recently listed as the fourth most frequent international target of cyber assaults.

Manila recorded 3,000 attacks between 2020 and 2022. About half of the instances involved malicious activities against the government.

“Critical Information Infrastructure accounted for PHP2.4 trillion ($42.3 billion) in 2022, providing basic services in various sectors such as water, government, transportation, energy, banking, and telecommunications,” the Philippine News Agency said.

“A 2021 DICT report showed that cybersecurity breaches resulted in 59 percent private data theft and 57 percent caused disruptions in public services.”

“The report also cited that 60 percent of government agencies do not have a computer emergency response team and another 60 percent of the agencies do not implement cyber hygiene activities.”

In a separate study by Cisco, approximately 85 percent of private Philippine companies interviewed admitted to cyberattack vulnerabilities and believe they are likely to experience a 2-year operational disruption following an incident.

Source : Defense Post