Seek help from Interpol vs cyberattacks, Bohol lawmaker proposes | Inquirer News

Seek help from Interpol vs cyberattacks, Bohol lawmaker proposes

/ 11:32 AM November 03, 2023

Cyber Attacks

TAGBILARAN CITY — A lawmaker from Bohol has proposed measures to address the recent cyber attacks on government websites.

Rep. Alexie Besas-Tutor of Bohol’s 3rd district believed it was high time to seek help from cybercrime experts of Interpol and advanced countries, saying the hacking into the House and Senate websites didn’t look like the handiwork of the same people who hacked PhilHealth.


The level of the hacking skills, she said, would be closer to those who hacked the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Philippine National Police (PNP).


“It would only be a matter of time before the perpetrators of these IT system intrusions are traced and identified. As to arrest and prosecution, the House  will have to confer with the DOJ on that. Troubling though is the revelation of the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) that they have been investigating about 3,000 reports,” Tutor said.

She said that given the limited DICT personnel and budget, DICT clearly needs help.

“So it may be necessary to bring in experts from Interpol, our neighbors in Southeast Asia and maybe from the United States and Japan, in addition to those among the country’s 200 certified cybersecurity specialists,” said Tutor who chairs the House  committee on Civil Service and Professional Regulation and member of the Committee on Information and Communications Technology.

“The Department of Justice (DOJ) and DICT would have to make the decision on that. It would be their judgment call and prerogative. Our country does have international bilateral and multilateral anti-crime agreements and arrangements which could be activated,” she added.

Tutor said DICT might also want to consult with the Department of Finance on funding because the World Bank recently approved a $600-million loan to the Philippines specifically on digital and information technology.

She also suggested keeping the government’s IT experts from going abroad or transferring to the private sector by increasing their salaries.


Tutor said she would coordinate with Civil Service Commission Chairman Karlo Nograles for exploratory discussions on how the qualification standards, compensation and benefits of cybersecurity specialists and other IT specialists in government service could be improved.

“Perhaps, more plantilla positions can be created, especially for critical IT agencies and units of the national government, as well as regulatory agencies with jurisdiction over strategic or critical infrastructure,” she said.

Tutor said the recruitment standards should be “strong enough to make sure those who are hired in the government really possess the knowledge, skills, attitude, and values.”

She proposed that those who have basic computer operation skills should get not lower than Salary Grade (SG) 11.

At present, SG 11 salary ranges from Step 1 at P27,000 per month to P29,075 at Step 8.


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TAGS: Bohol, cyberattacks, DICT, DOST

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