Press Release
August 29, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara said that the passage of a cybercrime bill will enhance e-governance initiatives in the Philippines.

Angara, Chair of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, pointed out that recent attacks on government Web sites cast doubt on the security of government transactions and services done through the Internet and other IT-enabled technologies.

"The government makes itself more responsive when it capitalizes on the opportunities provided by cyberspace. But if the Web site of one of our top officials can be defaced twice in the span of a few months, more steps definitely need to be taken to beef up the security of our cyber systems," said Angara.

The Web site of the Office of the Vice President (OVP) Jejomar Binay was defaced last month allegedly by members of white-hat (ethical) hacker group Philker. The defacement included a message from the group vowing more attacks on government Web sites to highlight the need for continuous vigilance in using the Internet.

Angara, also Chair of the Congressional Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering (COMSTE), noted that through Administrative Order (AO) 17, the Aquino administration directed all state agencies to source their common-use supplies through the e-procurement system, called the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPS) of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

Common-use supplies like bond paper, ballpoint pens, ink and other basic office amenities cost the government around P19.5 billion annually.

Earlier, Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, Jr. told the media that the government stands to save as much as P6 billion if a centralized purchasing system was implemented.

"The e-procurement system is just an example of how the dynamic nature of the Internet opens up opportunities for better governance in the country. But this comes with its share of security issues. Hence, we need to be more proactive in creating the policy environment that will criminalize activities like online fraud and hacking to keep cyberspace safe for users," said Angara.

Angara authored and sponsored the Cybercrime Prevention Act. The bill calls for the establishment of the National Cyber Security Office, which will encourage secure information systems in the public and private sector.

Angara is expected to defend the bill on the Senate floor in the coming weeks.

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