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Senator calls for improved education system to groom cybersecurity specialists 

PHILIPPINE STAR/ WALTER BOLLOZOS

INCREASING the number of students taking the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) strand in senior high school will help produce more experts who can address the cybersecurity threats and crimes in the Philippines, a legislator said on Thursday.  

Senator Sherwin T. Gatchalian, chair of the Basic Education committee, said measures and programs that will encourage more STEM enrollees should be adopted in the education system.   

“Even in our basic education system, where we could potentially cultivate the talent going into cybersecurity, it’s virtually non-existent,” he said in a statement.  

Mr. Gatchalian filed Senate Bill No. 476, which seeks to build at least one public and private math and science high school in all provincial capitals.  

“A progressive and economically potent society must be built by a formidable army of scientific minds. Without a solid workforce of scientists, mathematicians, engineers, and other skilled professionals, the Philippines will continue with an economy perennially on the brink,” the bill’s explanatory note reads.  

The Philippines ranked 61st with an index score of 77 out of 100 in the 2020 Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI). It received a low score of 13.00 at “Technical Measures,” which focuses on a country’s framework for implementing cybersecurity standards.  

The country also receives more than 50 million web threat attempts, according to a 2021 report by Kaspersky Security Network.  

Ivan John E. Uy, secretary of the Department of Information and Communications Technology, said the country only has 200 certified cybersecurity experts, a relatively low number compared to Singapore’s 3,000. — Beatriz Marie D. Cruz

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