President Marcos has moved the country’s observance of Cybersecurity Awareness Month from September to October every year to synchronize it with the international event.
The Official Gazette released a copy of Proclamation No. 353 on Oct. 4. Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin signed it on Oct. 2.
Marcos cited the need to amend the original Proclamation No. 2054 issued in 2010.
“In order to synchronize the Philippines with the international observance of the ‘Cybersecurity Awareness Month’ in October and to further signify the country’s unwavering commitment towards a unified approach in the digital era of governance, there is a need to amend Proclamation No. 2054,” he said.
With this, the President tasked the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to lead the observance of Cybersecurity Awareness Month and identify the programs, projects, and activities consistent with international best practices for the yearly celebration.
He likewise directed all national government offices and encouraged local government units, non-government organizations, and the private sector to support the DICT and actively participate in the annual observation.
Cybersecurity Awareness Month aims to reinforce efforts to address strategic policy dimensions of cybersecurity, develop a national cyber defense capability, and create public awareness through intensified campaigns showcasing cybersecurity information.
Marcos’ Proclamation No. 353 came after a DICT official confirmed that hackers have started exposing some PhilHealth data on the dark web after the Philippine government refused to pay the ransom worth roughly P17 million.
In his Proclamation, President Marcos said it was the State’s policy to ensure consumer protection and welfare, data privacy and security, and foster competition and the growth of the ICT sector.
The Data Privacy Act of 2012 mandates the State to ensure that personal data in information and communications systems in the government and the private sector are secured and protected.
According to Marcos, one of the strategies under his Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028 was to ensure safety and security in cyber and physical spaces and adopt a legal framework to strengthen cybersecurity and policies on minimum information security standards.
He added that the Philippines, as a State Party to the Budapest Convention, is committed to developing domestic legislation against cybercrimes and promoting awareness and collaboration among nations in the fight against cyber-related crimes.