DICT eyes supplemental budget to fund Marcos' digitalization plans – Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Information and Communications Technology is looking to ask for a supplemental funding after receiving a deep cut in their budget for next year, considering the Marcos Jr. administration’s digitalization efforts.
In an interview on Wednesday, DICT Undesecretary Jocelle Batapa-Sigue said this would be the department’s direction since their budget allocation came from the Duterte administration’s template.
“This is from the previous administration. So what I’m saying is we will try our very best to request for supplemental budget,” she said.
The Marcos Jr. administration is allocating P12.47 billion for ICT and digitalization across government agencies.
“At the same time, we want to prove in 2023, despite  all these constraints about the budget, we can show enough proof of concept, this will justify our move to have the budget we deserve for 2024,” Batapa-Sigue said.
Under the proposed budget for next year, the DICT would receive an allocation of P4.24 billion for its ICT systems and infrastructure development.
According to DICT Secretary John Ivan Uy, the cybersecurity budget of the department was “cut in half in 2023.”
The Marcos Jr. administration is set to pass a national budget of P5.268 trillion, setting the tone of the national government’s plan to steward the Philippines’ recovery from the pandemic.
Data from research sponsored by USAID found that there is a glut of cybersecurity talent in the Philippines. As it is, the country is facing a shortage of sorts within the nascent sector owing to a lack of training courses, disinterested students, and the prospects of better pay abroad.
The study commissioned to IBM found that there was a lack of certified and experienced cybersecurity talent in the country. The absence was glaring within the public sector, among women, and within entry-level and mid-level jobs.
Likewise, the research also pointed out there were of high levels of employee turnovers and even delayed recruitment within the local market.
Data was also a sore spot. According to the report, data and requisite reporting within cybersecurity professionals in the country remains limited.
The causes of this shortage came down to several factors, according to the study. USAID pointed out that, among others, there was an underdeveloped talent pipeline, low enrollment among cybersecurity courses and absence of competitive pay scale.
The USAID study pointed out two tracks for the government to address the shortage. The low-risk track would come down to rely on the evolution of the state of cybersecurity in the country.
The “riskier” track offers more rewards. The proposal includes creating another layer of bureaucracy, an executive agency tasked with cybersecurity concerns, a curriculum within educational institutions and even cybersecurity legal training for judges.
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