Press Briefing

Press Briefing of Ms. Daphne Oseña-Paez with Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Secretary Ivan John Uy

Event PCO Press Briefing with DICT
Location New Executive Building, Malacañang, Manila

MS. OSEÑA-PAEZ: Good morning, Malacañang Press Corps, and welcome to our press briefing ngayong araw, February 8, 2024.

Following the sectoral meeting last Tuesday about peace and order, President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. also met with the Department of Information and Communications Technology to discuss national cybersecurity plan.

To give us the latest updates and President Marcos’ directives on this program, we have here today, DICT Secretary Ivan John Uy. Good morning, Secretary Uy.

DICT SEC. UY: Good morning, Daphne.

So let me start. Good morning, everyone. So we presented the national cybersecurity plan to the President. This was, you know, more than a year in the making and it’s actually a very comprehensive plan covering year 2024-2028. So the national cybersecurity plan is, well, it’s a document that provides direction, policy direction, as well as operational guidelines on how to build up our cybersecurity posture vis-à-vis the rest of the world. And this document was arrived at in consultation with all the different stakeholders both in the public, private sector, as well as the academe. Then, we also compared it with the cybersecurity plans of all the other countries to see where the thrust has been in terms of addressing the increasing cyber threats.

So the plan is comprehensive, and it covers mainly addressing the need to develop good policy in order to ensure a safe cyber landscape for the country. So it also identifies cyber assets, infrastructure that’s out there that needs to be protected; provides how all of the different government agencies, the different sectors, whether its energy, transportation, finance sector can come together and address quick responses in case there are any attacks or any attempts, and a good coordination mechanism so that these inf0rmation are shared.

Not only that, we’ve also incorporated advance threat assessment so that even before those incidents happen, we’re able to obtain information ahead from our international partners. For instance, if, let’s say, an attack happens in the bank in another country, then we have information exchange programs through our computer emergency response teams that can share those information so that we can proactively advise our banks here that, okay, there has recently been an attack on this particular bank in this particular country and this was the mode of attack; this was the payload; this was the vector that was used in the attack, and so our banks would be advised ahead of time and prepare for it because whatever vulnerability has been exploited in that attack would most likely be the same vulnerability that cyber criminals will use in order to penetrate other banks or other financial institutions.

So these are some of the proactive approaches that are included in that plan.

Second, which is also very, very important is our capacity building and upskilling. Today, there are more than two million job vacancies for cybersecurity, and this is attributable to the fact that during the pandemic, a lot of brick and mortar businesses have moved online. And because they moved online, you know, it was a survival issue with them because they have to either go online or they go bankrupt because everybody was locked into their homes, could not come out. So they moved their businesses online and so there was a huge upsurge in e-commerce on online payments, opening up of e-wallets and online bank accounts.

So this opened up a very big opportunity for cyber criminals seeing that, okay, there’s a shift to online transactions and online commerce, so they’re seeing trillions of dollars moving online and wherever their money is, the cyber criminals are there. So they’ve seen that and they’re exploiting that. So now, many of the e-commerce platforms and e-wallet providers are now catching up and starting to build up their cybersecurity in order to protect customers, in order to protect clients, in order to protect the general public from scammers, from phishing, from ransomware and many other threats.

So, we are intensifying on a massive scale our training and our capacity building for cybersecurity, for AI, for many of the emerging technologies among our digital workforce. So, you know, everybody knows the Philippines is a very young workforce, we’re averaging about 24-25 years old. So this is a very ideal because in the next two decades, the Philippines will be the country that would have one of the biggest and youngest workforce that can address many of the challenges that are faced by First World countries – their aging population, their lack of manpower in order to meet their economic development. But because of this gap on cybersecurity, we’re hoping that by building up capacity on cybersecurity, other countries would come and access our talents. So, you know, the salary in the cybersecurity arena is quite good. In most cases, the salary is higher than any Cabinet secretary. So it’s a very, very lucrative profession and the hiring is there. It’s really a seller’s market, and so a lot of large companies are hiring; the cybercriminal organizations are also hiring. And so there’s a competition for talents and, you know, Filipinos are known to be digital natives. We love our gadgets. We love our technology and so, I think, you know, developing the right skills to address this growing challenge is just correct.

So that’s part of our cybersecurity program and the plan includes this upskilling or scaling up our training component. Then, of course, we’re also doing more information campaigns to make the public aware of what are the risks involved; what are the different schemes and scams that are out there. For instance, this February, so we recently just made a public announcement to watch out for love scams because that’s going to be a very prevalent now in this month of love. And, you know, we landed in the world stage back in 2000 with the “I Love You” virus. So Filipinos are naturally romantic. You know, we just need to warn everybody to watch against clicking baits or phishing attempts.

The cybercriminals are becoming very, very innovative, very smart, and they are very adept at using what we call “social engineering” in order to steal your passwords, to coax you into revealing your online e-wallet accounts and so on. So they disguise themselves as legitimate banks, credit card companies, sometimes even government agencies to coax you into biting on the bait. So, again, we’d like to warn the public, go to the sites that the DICT where we regularly educate the public on the ongoing scams and the favorite scams that are being utilized, and then also how to secure yourselves and how to protect yourselves from being victimized by these scammers.

So, I think, that somehow summarizes our cybersecurity plan. Thank you very much.

MS. OSEÑA-PAEZ: Thank you, Secretary Ivan. Question from Racquel Bayan.

RACQUEL BAYAN/PBS-RP: Good morning, Secretary. Sir, nabanggit din po ba doon sa sectoral meeting iyong recent attempt, hacking attempt sa OWWA and doon sa work space po ng ilang government offices? Ano po kaya ang naging directive ni Pangulong Marcos?

DICT SEC. UY: Well, that has been ongoing, you know, even before we came into office. We have been monitoring, probing regular threats coming from all sectors, from criminal organizations and many threat actors in the world. So, we take those things very seriously and we actually have built up more competencies in detecting early on any of those attempts to hack into not just government systems, but also private corporations. There have been some private institutions that were also compromised by ransomware. In the government, I think the one that has attracted most attention was the PhilHealth ransomware attack.

So, the directive of the president has remained the same, that we need to be vigilant and we need to be always on guard to protect our cyber-security infrastructure. However, this is not a single person or a single agency’s responsibility. We have to take it as a whole, not just a whole-of-government approach, but a whole-of-nation approach. The responsibility of protecting our cyber borders does not only lie with the DICT or with the defense [department], but with each and every Filipino to be more vigilant and to be more aware of any of these attempts.

RACQUEL BAYAN/PBS-RP: Sir, for clarification lang po, iyong mga ganitong hacking attempts po, kahit nag-fail po sila ng attempt, definitely may nalabag na po ba sila sa batas and we can prosecute them?

DICT SEC. UY: Definitely, under the Cybercrime Law, mayroong nalabag na batas. But, you know, ang mga threat actors po kasi ay may foreign at may local. So, iyong mga local madaling hulihin at marami na kaming nahuli diyan and some of them are currently under investigation by the law enforcement agencies or by the Department of Justice for prosecution. Ang challenging are foreign threat actors, dahil they reside outside our jurisdiction and sometimes they hide behind certain countries that may harbor them for their own reasons. You know, many of these hackers are actually mercenaries, meaning they go for the highest price. So, they hide in safe havens, and then they offer their services to anybody, whether to cybercriminal organizations or to governments. And so, minsan siguro, it will not even be surprising that two governments that are going against each other actually hiring the same group of mercenaries to hack each other. So, ganoon talaga, kung mercenaries iyan, eh walang loyalty iyan, their loyalty is to whoever pays them.

RACQUEL BAYAN/PBS-RP: And then, sir, based po doon sa initial investigation po natin, China-based po itong recent attempt ng hacking. Makikipag-ugnayan po ba tayo sa China to help us prosecute them?

DICT SEC. UY: Yes, actually, they have reached out to ask if we can do some cooperation. Dahil it’s actually both ways. Cooperation has to come, you know, as a mutual activity. So, they are willing to help, they have mentioned that if we can share with them kung ano iyong nangyari para mahanap daw nila kung saan at sino iyong gumawa noon. In the Philippines, we are also arresting quite a few. If you would recall, noong nag-raid kami ng isang scam center sa may Pasay, where we arrested 600 individuals. Out of the 600, 2oo of them were Chinese. And noong nahuli namin at nakita namin iyong mga computers nila, ang mga binibiktima nila ay mga citizens din ng China at mga residents ng Hongkong, ng Taiwan, ng Singapore – all Mandarin-speaking countries ay tina-target din nila for their scams.

So ganoon ‘no. So, nahuli namin iyon at iyon din na gusto rin ng China na once we prosecute these people, eventually gusto nilang ma-deport din to their country, so they can properly prosecute these people who are attacking their citizens and compromising also their cybersecurity.

So we are open to working with everybody. These actors, they are everywhere. For instance, iyong ransomware attack na nangyari sa PhilHealth, it was using the Medusa ransomware, which is actually based in Russia. So, maraming mga ganitong criminal organizations, mga mercenaries, cyber-hackers na nagtatago sa iba’t ibang mga bansa at ginagamit ang kanilang mga talento sa masasamang paraan, so importante po ang coordination among different countries to work together and go after these groups.

RACQUEL BAYAN/PBS-RP: And then lastly from my end. You mentioned kanina iyong cyber criminals, mas nagiging innovative na po sila, sir. Should the public be worried, ano po kaya ang assurance na maibibigay natin sa publiko?

DICT SEC. UY: Naku, dapat maging alerto po. Alam po ninyo, kahit anong cyber security firewall or protection ang ilagay natin  diyan sa sistema ninyo, malulusutan din po iyon kung using social engineering, eh  you willingly give up your password, willingly give up  your  PIN, your phone number and once na nakatanggap kayo ng  One-Time Password, binibigay ninyo iyong  One-Time Password doon sa scammer.

So, dapat maging alert at huwag pong masyadong gullible iyong public. Kung inaalok po kayo ng isang bagay na too good to be true – nanalo kayo sa raffle, sa lotto or whatever, or sasabihin sa inyo na nagkamali iyong bangko at nabawasan iyong account ninyo ng itong amount. So, tumatawag ngayon sila, upang i-correct iyon at hinihingi iyong account number mo at hinihingi iyong ano, huwag po ninyo basta-basta ibigay iyan. Napakadali naman, ang gagawin po ninyo is, ibaba ninyo iyong telepono at kayo po ang tumawag sa bangko ninyo at i-verify ninyo.

So, hanggang hindi po kayo ang tumatawag sa mga numero o sa mga contact information na alam ninyo na sa bangko, huwag po kayong magre-rely sa tawag ng iba sa telepono ninyo dahil hindi po kayo nakakasiguro na ang tumatawag sa inyo  eh scammer ba o totoong lehitimong bangko or credit company or whatever.

At napakatalino po nila, bago kayo tinatawagan ay niri-research na po kayo, very expert na po ang mga scammers, So, pagtawag sa inyo, alam na iyong pangalan, alam na iyong birth date ninyo, alam na iyong address ninyo, dahil may na-profile na po kayo sa social media, kinuha na iyong mga information ninyo from different sources, so talagang targeted kayo for that. So, don’t be misled. You need to be alert.

OSMEÑA-PAEZ: Maybe it will be a good time too para ipaalala sa ating mga nanunood na alalayan ang mga elderly parents and grandparents, kasi ang daming seniors na madaling nabibiktima especially hindi sila sanay sa online banking, mga alam na iyong birthday nila, mother’s maiden name kasi it’s all shared online. So please look out for those who are easily vulnerable.

Okay, we have a question from Tuesday Niu DZBB.

TUESDAY NIU/ DZBB: Hi sir, nabanggit ninyo po kanina ay ia-upskill na natin or upgrade iyong capacity noong ating mga tao dito sa bansa. Nagsisimula na po ba iyong training sa kanina, ang mga tao po bang ito ay from the government? Papaano po iyong public like us na gustong matuto, saan kami magti-training and would this be libre para lang malinaw, papaano po?

DICT SEC. UY: So, are target is nationwide po ‘no. So, currently with the resources that we have, we’re currently upskilling government workers muna. But nasa programa na po namin iyan within the year to be able to deploy a more inclusive cyber training to the general public. We have DICT-ICT Academy, so we’re going to expand that academy to include not just training for government but also to the private individuals who wants to be trained.

At the same time, we’re also working with different providers, whether these are universities, colleges, training institutes for them to possibly deploy some of the course content that we will curate that will allow them to learn more. And we are also working with industry to provide those contents. Alam ninyo, maraming mga cyber security providers like Google, Microsoft and mayroon silang mga certification programs, training and certificate programs. Ang ano lang diyan is minsan may pagkamahal sa training and then eventually, magbabayad din agad kayo for certification.

So, we are identifying anong mga training components na maaaring libre at maibigay sa publiko. Ngunit kung gusto nila na mas advance na training na magkakaroon sila ng certification, we will be negotiating with these companies to provide maybe a volume discount na okay kung makapag-enroll kami ng 10,000 students ito iyong rate na ibibigay ninyo sa ICT Academy ng DICT. So, lahat ng mag-i-enroll, may ibang component na libre, but once na kapag pumasa na sila at may ibang mga estudyante or mga learners na gustong mag-advance pa sa next level na medyo magbayad sila, it will be on a much lower rate.

And then will work also on scholarships, perhaps for some of those na nakita namin na, “Aba mapursige” sa pag-aaral at may talento na maging super hacker or something like that. So, kung may mga ganoon talents, then we’ll identify them and provide them perhaps with scholarship para ma-level up naman natin iyong ating mga experts.

OSMEÑA-PAEZ: Alvin Baltazar.

ALVIN BALTAZAR/RADYO PILIPINAS: Secretary good morning po. Kanina nabanggit ninyo iyong two million jobs for cyber security, pero dito na lang tayo siguro sa office ng DICT, may job openings po ba sa inyo for cyber security na—hindi ako mag-aaplay, sir, may irerekomenda lang, hindi, sir – for cyber security duties, kung mayroon ilan iyong mga kailangan ninyo, sir?

DICT SEC. UY: Actually, the more the better. Ang problema lang natin po is you know typical in any government office is the plantilla that’s allowed by DMB, based on budget and all of those, so diyan tayo limitado. Well, ang nakakalungkot po is iyong posisyon o plantilla classification natin ay napakaluma po, napakaluma. So, wala po tayong item na cyber security or AI expert, in fact mayroon pa ho tayong items na punch card feeder or telephone network operator iyong mga dating nakaano tapos nagsasaksak, may mga items pa ho tayong ganoon sa plantilla natin sa gobyerno.

So long overdue po ‘no, mukhang napabayaan na itong mga itong mga reclassification of positions in the civil service and all of those. So, kailangan hong baguhin at kailangan ma-update po iyan dahil marami hong mga positions na obsolete na iyong mga talent at iyong suweldo ay napakaliit. So, mas mataas pa yata iyong mga suweldo ng mga drivers at utility workers kaysa doon.

So, we need to right-size and we need to formulate a good program where we can retain or hire good talents and pay them properly. Dahil alam ninyo po, ang talento ay may presyo po iyon at kung hindi po natin bigyan ng kaukulang monetary consideration ay talagang magri-resign iyan at lilipat sa private sector. So sometimes ho, we just appeal to their patriotism –para sa bayan, to serve the public. Ang problema po, alam ninyo po kapag nasa gobyerno tayo eh kahit na gawin ninyo pong kabutihan eh talagang babatikusin pa rin po kayo at never pong masa-satisfy iyong tao sa kahit na anong sakripisyo at anong galing at anong pagmamahal na ibinuhos ninyo sa ating bayan. So, kaunting paunawa lang po.

OSMEÑA-PAEZ: Eden Santos, Net25.

EDEN SANTOS/ NET25: Secretary, kumustahin lang po muna iyong national ID distribution natin. Any update or latest data kung ilan na po iyong nakatanggap ng kanilang ID? Malamang  kami po ng pamilya ko ay hindi pa kasama doon.

DICT SEC. UY: Pareho lang nama tayo. Well, iyong national ID, that’s the PhilSys system which is managed by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). So the Philippine Statistics Authority is under the NEDA, it’s not under the DICT. So, siguro maganda po na maitanong ninyo sa kanila kung anong nangyayari kung bakit hindi pa lumalabas iyong mga physical na ID ninyo.

Ngunit, may directive po ang ating mahal na pangulo na ang DICT po ay tumulong na at huwag na pong hintayin iyong plastic card ID. Humanap po tayo ng paraan na maka-distribute rin ng ID na medyo modern at nasasang-ayon sa digital age. So, na-develop na po namin iyong Digital National ID, so ito po ay nakipag-ugnayan kami sa PSA, sa PhilSys at nakapag-generate na po kami ng about 56 million digital IDs ngunit we only have about 1.4 million people who have downloaded the eGovPH App.

So iyong 1.4 million na iyan, sila po ay maa-access na nila iyong national digital ID nila. So, kayo po, kung magdownload na po kayo eGovPH App, maa-access ninyo po iyong digital national ID ninyo, kahit na wala pa kayo iyong physical card ID; tingnan ninyo lang iyon.

Kung pag-access ninyo po at hindi kayo makapag-connect at wala, ang ibig sabihin po noon ay hindi pa naayos ng PSA iyong data ninyo dahil ang national digital ID po ay kumu-connect lang sa database ng PSA kung ano iyong mga naiayos na nila na ID ‘no, na information. So, pag-access niyan ay lalabas iyong digital ID ninyo; kung sinabi na hindi ma-access then may problema sa PSA, so tawagan ninyo ang PSA at tanungin ninyo kung ano maaaring mali – iyong picture or iyong resolution ng picture ay hindi ganoon kaganda, so hindi ma-validate iyong biometrics ninyo or maaaring may errors sa pag-input ng birthdate ninyo, ng address niyo or whatever at iyong issues na iyon kailangan ayusin sa PSA

EDEN SANTOS/ NET25: Secretary, ito pong tama ba?

DICT SEC. UY: eGov.Ph. Huwag ho kayong magki-click ng any link, pupunta lang ho kayo sa Apple Store or sa Google Play at doon ho kayo magda-download. Kung makatanggap po kayo ng text na mag-download ng eGovPH App at may link doon, scammer ho iyon dahil hindi po kami nagpapadala ng link. Sasabihin lang namin pag-text namin sa inyo, sasabihin lang namin: “Download the eGovPH App, go to your Apple Store, go to your Google Play.” We do not put that link.

Iyong mga links na iyan, iyan iyong mga pinakapaboritong tool ng mga scammers ‘no. Pag-click ninyo ng link ay dadalhin kayo sa website nila at mukhang lehitimong website at doon kukunin lahat ng mga information ninyo.

Q: So iyon po sana iyong follow-up question ko ‘no, kung prone din ba sa hacking, sa cyber-attack itong app po na ito? And ano po iyong ginagawa ng DICT para po ma-prevent na ma-scam din iyong ating mga kababayan na gagamitin itong digital app na ito para sa kanilang national ID?

DICT USEC. UY: So long as you go to Apple or Google to download it, dumaan na po iyon sa dalawang kumpaniya. Nai-check nila na lehitimo ang app na iyan at marami pong mga requirements ‘no bago puwedeng ilagay iyong app na downloadable doon. So you’re assured that it’s a legitimate app.

And once you download it, ano po ‘no, we have put that app into a lot of testing. So we’ve actually even hired professional hackers to hack and even put up rewards whoever is successful, we’re going to give them a reward. So far, wala pa naman ‘no.


DICT USEC. UY: HackForGov, ang tawag namin doon. So they inform us; they register with us; and they will say, okay, then we can hire them and they will do the hacking. So the app has gone through a lot, not just locally ‘no, pati mga international cybersecurity organizations that do vulnerability assessment and testing, penetration testing. So marami na pong iterations.

Ang medyo wala po kaming full control ay iyong mga sites where the app is linked to. Kasi iyong app, hindi po iyan iyong repository ng mga data ninyo; iyong bawat ahensiya ng gobyerno, nandudoon pa rin iyong repository ng data. This app only verifies your identity na kayo po ay tunay at hindi peke, and once na na-verify ng app iyan, iku-connect kayo sa database ng ahensiya, whether it’s GSIS, SSS, BIR, NBI, DFA or whatever government agency.

So kung iyong ahensiya ng gobyerno na may hawak ng database na iyan ay medyo mahina iyong cybersecurity, then maaaring doon ma-compromise but it will not be through the app; it will be through other means. So the app merely just links them.

MS. OSEÑA-PAEZ: We have a time for a few more questions. We have Ivan Mayrina.

IVAN MAYRINA/GMA7: Secretary, hingi lang ako ng details doon sa sinabi ninyo nag-reach out China doon sa recent incident na may attempts to hack—I don’t remember.

DICT USEC. UY: Government sites.

IVAN MAYRINA/GMA7: Yeah, government sites, including that of President—


IVAN MAYRINA/GMA7: Yeah, and OWWA, the Philippine Coast Guard. Does that rule out the suspicion that this has anything to do with the South China Sea conflict/dispute?

DICT USEC. UY: Well, that’s not for us to come out with that conclusion yet ‘no; it’s too early. But anything is possible. So we just need to, I think, currently take it at face value and see how things develop. In cyber investigations and in analyzing all of this, we never rule out anything. Everything is in the realm of the possible, but we always maintain open arms. Anyone who wants to cooperate, you know, we don’t reject those offers and then see where we go from there.

Q: Secretary, Senator Hontiveros filed a resolution with the Senate to investigate these series of attempts to hack government websites. And in a related investigation, may similar din pong ginawa sa House where tech experts expressed concern that AI might be getting out of control at itong Deepfake nga raw ay posibleng magamit sa next elections and all that. What’s your take on this, Secretary?

DICT USEC. UY: Actually, Deepfake is not being used for the next elections; it’s already being used currently for many elections. So there are several elections that are ongoing worldwide, and this year, I think there’s the most number of elections yata of many countries including the United States. So we are seeing a lot of Deepfakes out there, in the social media platforms and many of the other platforms. AI-enabled Deepfake is quite rampant so we need to be more discerning.

Unfortunately, these could possibly be used for misinformation and to, you know, put words into your mouth. They can actually imitate not just your voice but also your looks and make it appear that you are the one doing this activity or making the statement.

I’m sure, many of you have accessed some of the parody Deepfake sites that are out there that’s doing it. But, mayroon silang disclaimer, inilalagay nila, this is a parody site and you know, we are imitating the voice of so and so, but this is not them or sometimes, may nakikita kayong mga Deepfake pictures of let’s say, some famous movie stars na nasa Tondo, nagsho-shopping sa 168 o kumakain ng fish ball, pero alam po ninyo na itong mga artistang ito was never in those areas, but kuhang-kuha po ang ano and those are just photos. You can actually even see videos of that.

So, the cyber security industry has actually also been utilizing a lot of AI-enabled software for Deepfake detection. So, we are working with many of these cyber security agencies also for access to these tools so that we can use them and reveal whatever Deepfake is out there. So, it’s an ongoing arms race, a cyber-arms race that each time a new technology comes out, criminals will use the technology, but the good guys will also use those technology to counter; it’s really an arms race.

MS. OSEÑA-PAEZ: At the recent World Economic Forum, the misuse of AI that leads to misinformation/disinformation is considered the number risk greater than climate change’ short-term risk because it could topple economies and democratic elections. So, it’s a global concern.

Let’s move on to Ann Soberano. We don’t have much time left.

ANN SOBERANO/BOMBO RADYO: Sir, last lang.  Nabanggit kasi ng Philippine National Police, sir, na concern sila ngayon itong pagbebenta ng mga pre-registered SIM card. Paano po nakakalusot ito at may monitoring pa ba ang DICT at ano po iyong ginagawa ninyo dito? Thank you.

DICT SEC. UY: Actually, the police are also coordinating with our CICC or Cybercrime Investigation Coordinating Center together with the Telcos in identifying kung ano nga ba  itong mga ginagawa. Ang nangyari po is many of the pre-registered SIM cards are actually registered under legitimate names ngunit ang ginagawa is binebenta nga iyong SIM card nila dahil, magkano ba ang SIM card ngayon, mura lang, P30. P30, irirehistro nila sa pangalan nila, tapos ibibenta nila ng P500. Easy money for them, hindi nila naisip iyong consequence sa kanila. So, minsan kapag nahuli natin at nakita natin at hinahanap natin,  some of them come from our kababayans na medyo not well-off and they just want to make a quick buck out of it. So, we are trying to formulate ways with the Telcos on how we can address this concern.

ANN SOBERANO/BOMBO RADYO: May liability po ba iyong Telcos dito?

DICT SEC. UY: Eh papaanong liability, eh tunay na tao iyon. Paano naman sasabihin ng Telcos na, “Oh, dahil pulubi ka, hindi ka namin bebentahan ng SIM card.” Hindi puwede, hindi ba?

MS. OSEÑA-PAEZ: Okay, Tuesday Niu, and then the last one will be Alvin Baltazar.

TUESDAY NIU/DZBB: Sir, mayroon na tayong SIM Card Registration Law, pero marami pa ring text scam. Saan po ang nakikita ninyong loophole or pagkukulang kung bakit ganito pa rin, mayroon pa rin?

DICT SEC. UY: Marami ngayon ay nanggagaling po sa OTT, Over-The-Top providers.  So, pinapadala nila sa telegrams, sa WhatsApp, Messenger and so on. So, in many instances those Apps do not need the SIM card. I mean sa messenger ninyo, kailangan ba ng SIM card? Hindi! So many of them do not need a SIM card, all they need is to know your social media account that is link to those communications accounts. And then, they send it to you.

So, on the other hand, iyong mga gumagamit ng SIM cards, iyong mga nahuhuli po namin na mga sindikato dito sa Pilipinas, gumagamit po sila ng tinatawag na text blasters, malalaking machine iyan na sinasaksak lahat at pinapadala. Lahat po itong mga equipment na ito is smuggled from other countries. Nauso po iyan noong mga election dahil maraming mga kandidato ang bumibili po niyan para makapagkampanya, so nakakalat po ang marami niyan.

So, NTC together with law enforcement are going after many of these equipment that are unregistered, that are smuggled in and confiscating them. But we need to work with the Bureau of Customs to find out paano nakakapasok iyong mga equipment na iyan and we need to work with local governments and candidates for them so surrender those unlicensed and unregistered equipment. Good luck to that.

MS. OSEÑA-PAEZ: Okay, Alvin Baltazar for the last question.

ALVIN BALTAZAR/PBS-RP: Secretary, sorry pero babalikan ko lang iyong doon sa plantilla positions supposed to be, para sa office ninyo for cyber security officers. Sec, may coordination na po kayo dito sa Civil Service [Commission] at saka kung saka-sakaling hingan kayo ng rekomendasyon ng Civil Service, magkano iyong ire-recommend ninyong starting salary ng cyber security officer para mahikayat natin sila?

DICT SEC. UY: Iyong sa salary, medyo tricky po iyon. Ngunit as we speak po ay may workshop ngayon ang DBM together with the different government agencies on rightsizing the government. So, in that forum, that workshop, I think it will be a good opportunity to raise some of the antiquated positions that we have that are no longer relevant but are still in government, and address the gap wherein we need new position classifications in order to meet the new challenges and the new demands of government service.

MS. OSEÑA-PAEZ: On that note, this concludes our press briefing this morning. Thank you so much to Secretary Ivan Uy and maraming salamat, Malacañang Press Corps. Good morning.