Solon pushes for higher DICT budget to ramp up anti-cybercrime efforts
MANILA, Philippines — A lawmaker is pushing for an increase in the 2021 budget of the Department of Information and Communications Technology to ramp up the agency’s anti-cybercrime efforts.
Laguna 1st District Rep. Dan Fernandez said on Thursday said the agency needs more budget in its anti-cybercrime investigation center, which is set at about P66 million, as the country has done poorly in prosecuting cybercrime offenses.
“Imagine, last year sa recorded cybercrimes natin na 5,000, 300 lang na-file na kaso. Out of 300, 15 lang convicted. May plea bargain pa. Alam mo reason? Wala capability cybercrime unit natin,” he told INQUIRER.net in a text message.
“In this digital transformation, we need to give a bigger budget for DICT, so we can compete in the global standard of cybercrime equipment in the fight against cybercrime. With a meager budget for this unit our society is so vulnerable from cyber attack,” he added.
During the House deliberations on the DICT’s 2021 budget, DICT Secretary Gringo Honasan III admitted that the agency has limited capabilities in preventing cybercrime, as it is only limited to “monitoring” potential cybercrime attempts.
He likewise hinted that there are entities which the government is considering as “friends” but are also trying to intrude the country’s network.
“Limitado ang kakayahan natin. Limited tayo sa monitoring and tracking. Magugulat kayo na yung mga ibang entities, I will not name because of obvious national reasons, na tinuturing nating mga kaibigan, pero namomonitor natin na gusto tayong pasukin sa power sector,” he said.
“That’s part of the challenge but that’s with our limited capability at the moment, we are limited to monitoring. We want to develop a more proactive response,” Honasan added.