Press Briefing

Press Briefing of Office of the Press Secretary OIC Atty. Cheloy Garafil with DICT Secretary Dennis Ivan Uy and Ms. Daphne Oseña-Paez

Event Press Briefing

OPS-OIC ATTY. GARAFIL: Magandang hapon, Malacañang Press Corps. Simula ngayong araw ay may bago tayong makakasama sa bawat briefing na gagawin dito sa Press Working Area. Siya ang magiging tagapaghatid ng balita at impormasyon tungkol sa mga gawain at proyekto ni Pangulong Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos, Jr.

Hindi na siya bago sa industriya dahil dati na rin siyang naging reporter na na-assign din sa Malacañang. Minsan na rin siyang kinilala bilang goodwill ambassador ng UNICEF. Isang karangalan na makasama namin sa Office of the Press Secretary ang isa sa mga lumalaban para sa karapatan ng mga kababaihan, kabataan, at ng kalikasan. Nagtapos ng kursong Fine Art History mula sa University of Toronto sa Canada, at kasalukuyang naka-enroll para sa Advanced Certificate for Environmental Management. Ipinakikilala namin sa inyo ang bagong Malacañang press briefer, si Bb. Daphne Oseña-Paez.

MS. PAEZ: Thank you. Thank you so much, Attorney.

Magandang hapon, Malacañang Press Corps. Thank you for the kind introduction, Atty. Cheloy, ang ating OIC. At thank you, MPC, for the welcome.

Gaya ng sinabi ni Attorney Cheloy, noon ay diyan ako sa opposite side so hindi bago sa akin ito. Although iba na iyong panahon ngayon, I look forward to doing this weekly updates with you.

Since I will be the one who will be regularly your source of updates from the Palace, I look forward to working with all of you, of course, in a harmonious and collegial manner kasi I am also one of you.

I’m very honored to be communicating the message and programs of this administration, of course, in an accurate and effective way, and I will do my best. It is my first time to work directly for government; and today, of course, is my first day, it happened to be a Cabinet meeting day. So I am here to share with you some details of the Cabinet meeting earlier which, by the way, is the last meeting for this year.

In the 13th Cabinet meeting, the secretaries presented to President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. the key accomplishments of their respective agencies from July to December, and their programs, of course, for 2023.

Sa Cabinet meeting kanina, eleven lang na mga kalihim ang nakapag-present ng kanilang accomplishments at programs dahil kinulang na ang oras. Ang mga nakapag-present kanina ay ang Department of Finance; National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA); Department of Budget and Management; Department of Trade and Industry; Department of Tourism; Department of Information and Communications Technology; Department of Public Works and Highways; Department of Transportation; Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development; Department of Foreign Affairs; and, the Department of National Defense.

Iyong mga hindi nakapag-present ay itutuloy nila iyon sa pagbalik nila sa January.

Sa loob ng anim na buwan, nakita na marami nang nagawa ang administrasyon at malawak pa ang mga programa na magpapabuti sa ekonomiya at sa buhay ng mga Pilipino. All the departments are working together to achieve the 8-Point Socioeconomic Agenda of this administration.

At dahil aprubado na ang SIM Card Registration Law kung saan magsisimula na ang registration sa December 27, inimbitahan natin si DICT Secretary Ivan Uy para sa kanilang paghahanda para rito. Ibabahagi rin niya ang iba pang importanteng programa ng DICT sa susunod na taon. Ladies and gentlemen, Secretary Ivan Uy.

DICT SEC. UY: Thank you very much, Daphne, for the kind introduction.

Well, kanina sa Cabinet meeting ay nakapag-present ang DICT ng aming mga accomplishments for the last six months and also our programs for this coming 2023. At most of them, most of the discussions dealt with the primary mandates of the Department under the direction of the President when spoke at the SONA.

So first, we’ve been addressing connectivity. And for this year, we have connected many, many remote islands ‘no, all over the country – Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao – as well as the mountainous regions in both Northern and Central Luzon and in the Bicol Region.

The connections, as far as Kalayaan Island, have been set up. And we’re now able to communicate directly with some of those remote islands as of today. So maganda po ang mga signals at coverage with respect to those free WiFi connections in those islands.

And we are going to pursue more aggressive implementation of the Broadband ng Masa Program of the President by connecting several thousands more of these connections in the GIDA areas, the geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas.

In addition to this, we’ve also implemented several e-government projects. One is the digital market place, in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry where we are deploying an online—basically a government e-commerce platform that will provide our MSMEs with the means to be able to join the e-commerce bandwagon ‘no. Because as we have seen noong pandemya, iyong mga brick-and-mortar business that were greatly affected ay marami pong sumara. Iyong mga nag-move on to the digital platform, ito po ang mga lumago na mga negosyo, and we expect that this trend will actually continue.

The goal really is to increase our e-commerce transactions, our e-retail, as well as our digital payment system. So we are working with the Bangko Sentral, we’re working with the various banks and the payment platforms to provide digital banking services as well as digital payment services most especially for the business sector MSMEs using the e-commerce platform as well as access of government services.

So, to segue to that, we’ve also deployed our e-LGU program which is a white label program that computerizes the different functionalities of the local government units – business permits and licensing, clearances, payment of amilyar and many others ‘no.

So all of these, in the past, bawat local government has to handle it by themselves at medyo nagkakaroon ng maraming issues dahil iba-iba iyong mga developers, iba-iba iyong mga sistema at iba-iba iyong mga data standards. So ngayon dahil ginawa natin itong libre at white label eh binibigay na lang ho namin ito sa LGUs upang magamit nila at hindi na sila mag-aaksaya ng panahon at ng oras—panahon at ng pera upang… to redo ‘no o to reinvent the will so to speak.

At white label ito so the local government officials, the mayors, the governors can just add on to the front page whatever they would like to incorporate in that e-LGU program. So, gusto nilang ma-disseminate sa kanilang mga constituents iyong mga programa nila, mga accomplishments nila and so on eh bawat isang LGU eh puwedeng i-upload ‘no iyong mga information na ‘yan. And ang trabaho lang namin is to provide the digital platform in the background upang matulungan sila sa kanilang mga trabaho.

So with that also, of course we will incorporate digital payments system – mapapabilis po ang transaction dahil imbes na pipila pa ho iyong mga tao sa mga opisina upang magbayad either in cash or in manager’s check or so on ay puwede na from their mobile phones once they register into the e-LGU app. They can pay from their homes, from their offices or from anywhere. So this will facilitate government transactions. So that’s part of the e-governance process ‘no.

At the same time, we also launched recently the e-travel system which consolidates the different government agencies that deal with travel. Marami ho siguro sa atin ay nakapagbiyahe, every time we arrive… marami pong forms na pini-fill up – you have the arrival form for the Bureau of Immigration, you have the health pass for the Bureau of Quarantine/DOH, you have the Bureau of Customs and then several other agencies. So ang ginawa po namin ay in-integrate na namin sa isang sistema so isang beses lang magpi-fill up ng information ang bisita o ang traveler at in the background that all that information will just be farmed out to all the different government agencies.

So this is just one example of how we are trying to simplify access to government services by consolidating and making it easier to do business ‘no with government. We’re also helping the DTI as well as the SEC in deploying ease of doing business so that investors and those who want to open or start businesses can do so from a single platform and reduce the number of days in registering a business so maka-operate sila kaagad instead of waiting for a very long time.

At marami pa pong mga programa ‘no, we’re working with the Department of Tourism in upgrading the communications facilities especially on our tourist sites – there are 94 tourist sites that have been identified. So this coming year, 2023, we will be significantly connecting and upgrading all of these tourist areas in order to have better quality and higher availability of signals ‘no, Wi-Fi signals.

Bakit? We’re encouraging not only tourists who come and visit temporarily but also those who are with the gig economy na mga traveling people who work from anywhere. So when they are in the beach, they can even do their work. So it will be very attractive for them as the President has mentioned in his past ano… “Why work from home when you can work from the beach?” – and the Philippines have very, very beautiful resorts and tourist areas that they can work from.

And we are re-launching also many other programs that will encourage the investment in the business process management ‘no or in the past we call it the business process outsourcing investors. We are developing several digital cities or what they call the Smart Cities program where we can host about 31 of them in the next few years in order to be able to host the business process units.

And because of that, there will be a very high demand for local talents and local skills and we are deploying skills upgrading in order to get our young people interested in the digital skills that will be necessary in order to answer the needs of our employers ‘no. They are all asking for software engineers, for cybersecurity experts, blockchain experts, artificial intelligence, 3D printing and many more… fintech.

So the DICT is working with all our educational partners from the private sector as well as government institutions like TESDA, like DepEd, like CHEd in order to deploy course materials and certification programs. And hopefully, if we do have more funds… scholarship programs ‘no in order to be able to build up more competency in the STEM area – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – that is the jobs on demand currently worldwide.

In my recent travels, one country has asked me – they need 100,000 software engineers and the Philippines supply them. Sabi namin medyo… that will be challenging – 100,000 software engineers. And they tell me, if they go to China or they go to India eh napakadali daw nilang makakuha ng ganoon so dapat makahabol tayo ‘no, we need to build up those competencies. Currently, there are three million job vacancies in the world for cybersecurity experts, three million.

And all of these countries are looking at sourcing those talents – and Philippines is actually one of the first areas that they look at dahil magagaling daw tayong mga hackers [laughs]. I think back in year 2000, we landed in the world stage ‘no with our ‘ILOVEYOU’ virus.

So, the Filipinos are well known as early technology adopters. If you would recall, noong naunang lumabas ang cellphone at my text message, Filipino po ang naging text capital ng buong mundo. Ngayon nag-evolved iyon, nagkaroon ng social media at Facebook, sino na naman po ang naging number one sa Facebook? Filipino rin ho, tayo ang naging number one sa Facebook.

The world, all the technology companies, look at the Philippines as a country that is composed of young people who are early technology adopters. And so, they expect that we would produce a lot of these talents and that will be the answer, these are very high-paying jobs and the demand is very, very high. So, I think, I made a brief summary of what was reported during the Cabinet meeting from the DICT. Thank you very much and could I address your questions now? Okay.

CHONA YU/RADYO INQUIRER: [Inaudible] mga Pilipino sa cyber security. But do we have enough cyber security professionals dito sa Pilipinas ngayon?

DICT SEC. UY: Iyon ang sinasabi ko kanina ‘no, kulang na kulang tayo. Actually, when we talk about Certified Cyber Security Experts, we call it CISSP certified, we only have about 200 of them in the country compared to Singapore that has, I think, about 3,000.  Napakaliit na bansa ang Singapore, bakit ganoon ang numbers nila; dito sa atin, 200 something lang and only 30% of them are in the country, the 70% are actually working abroad. So, we need to build up that competency. Kaya iyon ang programs na nila-launch namin sa DICT to aggressively provide the technical know-how.

Ang nangyayari kasi is, marami tayong mga talented na technical people, pero hindi sila nagka-qualify for the jobs, dahil wala silang credentials, iyong certification; kumbaga ano ito, self-learned. At marami kang nakikita ‘no, makikita mo lang, pumunta lang kayo sa Virra Mall kung nasira iyong mga mobile phones ninyo or may mga phones na naka-lock, sasabihin ng manufacturer, hindi iyan mabi-break, pero kapag dalhin mo doon, ilang minuto lang pagbalik sa iyo, bukas na.

So, marami tayong ganoon, ngunit wala silang certificate. So, kung hahanap sila ng employment, eh hahanapin iyong credentials – wala. So, ang objective ng DICT, bigyan natin ng credentials. So, what we are doing now is we are working, let’s say with the large technology companies and asking them, ano iyong mga certification programs na mayroon sa inyo? Some of them are just three months or six months of certification. Tapos  ang ginagawa namin, iniimbita namin itong mga technical people, oh mag-enroll kayo, either subsidized or free and then from there,  we provide them with either a scholarship,  so they can take the certification.

At oras na mayroon na silang certificate from Cisco, from Oracle, from Intel, from Microsoft, employable na sila. So, iyan ang mga short programs, but we will be able to bridge that gap. Because napakagaling po natin, ngunit ang kulang lang is building up on those credentials.

CHONA YU/RADYO INQUIRER: Sit, mga ilan po ang kailangan natin na makuhang mga cyber security professionals?

DICT SEC. UY: Well, I think sky is the limit here, considering na two million iyong vacancies in the world. If we can supply, even just one-fourth of that, 500,000, I think that’s a very, very ambitious number. But, I think we need to build up the interest and we need to develop the necessary talent. So iyan ho, ang pinagkakaabalahan natin is building up. Kasi hindi lang po ito abroad, itong mga BPOs natin dito sa Pilipinas and mga financial institutions natin, mga bangko, mga business sector, they are all are looking for that. And that’s just one of them, cyber security; napakarami pa hong iba.

ALLAN FRANCISCO/PTV: Hi sir, good afternoon. Sir, I understand that in the recent visit of the President to Belgium for the ASEAN-EU Summit, you had a meeting with the Estonian president. May we know what matters or what agreements have you discussed or finalized, sir?

DICT SEC. UY: As you all know po, ang Estonia ay napakasikat po sa buong mundo sa kanilang digitalization and cyber security. Sila po ay isa sa mga nangunguna sa buong mundo in terms of digitizing their government system. At napakarami pong mga cyber-attacks na nangyayari doon sa mga infrastructure nila, mga critical infrastructure.  So, nagkasundo po kami na pag-aaralan natin na mabuti, how did they develop their cyber defense, their cyber security framework at maaaring maturuan tayo, how we can also develop that.

So, knowledge sharing between the two countries. Siguro manghihiram rin sila sa atin ng mga hackers upang testingin rin iyong mga sistema nila at kung matatag ba o hindi. So, na-mention na rin kasi nila na kilala nila ang Pilipino in terms of iyong mga ganoong capability. So, we want now to re-direct that talent into something more productive and more legal in developing this capability.

Alam po  natin na itong Fourth Industrial Age po eh, everything is connected at nakikita po natin na kahit na wala pa pong deklarasyon ng pagkagiyera at bago makaputok ng unang bala, eh ang unang virus ang nalo-launch, ang cyber-attack po ang nauuna, before  any actual physical attack is done.

So, iyan po ang new world order kumbaga, new world system that we’re living in. So, we have to be prepared, at we need people who are equipped with that, and marami po tayong mga ganoong mga cooperation with other countries, learnings – to learn from them and them from us on cyber security, on e-governance, how to design systems, and how to deploy systems to make it easier for the general public, and the citizens to transact business with government.

Napakabata po ng mga opisyal nila sa Estonia, at magaganda although ano naman nakaka-inspire dahil when we discuss with them marami po silang alam tungkol sa Pilipinas. Iniisip po natin na napakalayong lugar ‘no, napakaliit na bansa sa Europa. But noong nagkukuwento sila ay they speak very highly of Filipinos, and the Filipino talent – our professionalism, our competence, and of course in Europe we are famous for providing a lot of our nurses, and caregivers, and teachers. At doon po marami po sa kanila not just Estonia nagsasabi nga na ang mga nag-alaga sa kanila noong nagkasakit sila sa ospital ay ang mga nurses po natin especially, parating special mention po iyan na iba ang pagmamahal, at pag-aalaga ng mga Filipino nurses natin abroad. Kaya ito po ay isang highly, highly in demand din na profession all over the world. Thank you po.

JOB MANAHAN/ABS-CBN: Sir, sabi ninyo kanina na kailangan ma-hype iyong interest ng mga Filipinos doon nga po sa na-mention ninyo, pero may partnerships po ba ito with other countries, or may scholarships tayong tinitingnan, or mas magpu-focus tayo doon sa short programs na na-mention ninyo kanina?

DICT SEC. UY:   It will have to be a combination ‘no. For the short-term, we need to concentrate on the short courses para ma-deploy kaagad natin itong mga kinakailangan agad-agaran ngunit for the more long-term, we will be working with our educational institutions as well as the government agencies in charge of education – DepEd, CHED, and TESDA, and the state universities in order to develop more courses on this area.

Importante po kasi is habang bata pa sila ay maturuan na po sila nang…or mabuhay po ang interes nila sa mathematics, sa science, sa engineering, sa teknolohiya, at hindi ho na ma-distract sila masyado sa Facebook, sa TikTok, at medyo ma-redirect iyong interes nila into that area. And we will be launching some programs on that come 2023. I will not announce it yet, but it will be a very, very interesting program on building up our stem capacity even from the school, and from the very young age.

As soon as we are able to…we’re ready to deploy the program, we’ll have another press conference and I’ll break to you the news on how we are going to do those interventions.

MS. PAEZ: Thank you so much, Secretary Ivan. I particularly enjoyed your updates from Estonia, and I look forward to all the programs that you have in DICT.

Before we close today, maybe we could take one question.

MARICEL HALILI: Hi, Ma’am. Ma’am, magandang hapon. Ma’am, may we know what’s the exact mandate of a media press briefer and what exactly is your rank? Should we call you Usec, Asec?

MS. PAEZ: You can just call me Daphne. My role here is to amplify and to communicate the message of President Marcos and the Cabinet, and the government, and you are my partners in this. I will be here to brief you every Tuesday regularly after Cabinet meetings, and to express, and to represent whatever programs, and news items that need to be amplified. I hope that helps.

MARICEL HALILI: Is your role the same as the Presidential Spokesperson because I remember President Bongbong Marcos mentioned before that he will be his own spokesperson. So, what made him change his mind?

MS. PAEZ: The President will speak for himself. I’m just here to support the Office of the Press Secretary for now, and I look forward to learning a lot about the programs. As many of you know me from media, I didn’t exactly maintain the Presidential beat I was only here for about six months – this is where I trained in Malacañang during FVRs time but after that I focused on lifestyle, but during my lifestyle hosting stint my heart was in public service. I, for 12 years served the Philippines as a Goodwill Ambassador, and Special Advocate for Children focusing on maternal health, children’s nutrition, and the last one was online sexual abuse of children.

So, all these issues have been close to me, and to have this opportunity to work at this time with the government, and of course of the likes of Secretary Uy, and the Cabinet it’s very exciting, and it’s indeed an honor to and both a challenge as well for me. So, I look forward to the next coming months and years.

MARICEL HALILI: Sa PMS lang, Ma’am, mayroon na po ba tayong OIC, and is it true that Secretary Angping will be appointed as the Ambassador to Portugal?

MS. PAEZ: At this point, we do not have any updates on that, and as soon as we do we will address that. Thank you very much for this. Thank you so much for this my first briefing today, and we do have a lot to discuss in the coming weeks. So, thank you again, and I guess Merry Christmas to all. Thank you.

ASEC. DE VERA: Maraming salamat, Malacañang Press Corps.




SOURCE: OPS-NIB (News and Information Bureau – Transcription Section)