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Filipino cyber security experts lured by better pay abroad, says DICT official

Cyber security experts play a significant role in times of hacking incidents, especially in government agencies.

However, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) said many experts choose to work abroad or in private companies due to a higher salary.

Despite this, the government could not meet the salary of private cybersecurity experts in the country, according to Jun Veneracion's report on "24 Oras."

“Meron tayong flight ng mga talents especially to Singapore. Karamihan sa mga kabataan ang kina-count nila ay take-home money, hindi yung retirement benefits,” said DICT Undersecretary Jefferson Dy.

(We have a flight of talents especially to Singapore. For many young people, it's the take-home money that counts, not retirement benefits.)

Meanwhile, there are still computer science students like Carl John and Carl Kevin Calvan, who participated in "Hack for Gov," which aims to hone students in cyber security.

"We want to make big contributions here in the Philippines," said Carl John.

They want to become white hackers or ethical hackers to fight hackers with bad intentions. So far, there have been three thousand hacking incidents this year.

On Sunday, the website of the House of Representatives was defaced by hackers. They immediately coordinated with the DICT and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

"Just from the wordings alone, Tagalog, so we highly suspect these are local threat actors," said DICT spokesperson Assistant Secretary Renato Paraiso.

However, House Secretary General Reginald Velasco said the damage is just minimal.

“Dine-face lang e, binaboy lang ‘yung website. I met our executive committee, and the recommendation was to strengthen our capability, cyber security," he said.

Still, House Committee on Appropriations chairperson and Ako Bicol party-list Representative Elizaldy Co said they will look for more sources of funds for DICT. 

"Additional resources can come from the Unprogrammed Funds of the 2023 national budget or savings of vulnerable agencies for security and ransomware countermeasures," she said. — Sherylin Untalan/BAP/KG, GMA Integrated News