Philippines creates National Cybersecurity Committee citing great risk in country’s information systems

Philippines has established National Cybersecurity Inter-Agency Committee in order to ensure information security and promote a culture of responsibility and discipline in handling classified and sensitive electronic information in the bureaucracy. The said committee that will handle national cybersecurity was created under President Benigno S. Aquino III’s Executive Order No. 189 signed September 17, 2015.

“There is a need to review and update Memorandum Circulars 78 (s. 1964) and 196 (s. 1968) pertaining to the security of classified matters in government offices, in order to account for current developments in information and communications technology,” says in the executive order.

It also noted the increasing number of cyber threats against government and commercial information systems which places these institutions at great risk. There is an urgent need to assess national vulnerabilities of government and commercial information systems to cyber threats that compromise critical infrastructure and strengthen the nation’s cybersecurity capability by putting in place measures to eliminate or reduce such vulnerabilities.

The committee will be under the Office of the President with the Executive Secretary and Director General of the National Security Council as chair and co-chair. Members would be the secretaries of finance, energy, foreign affairs, interior and local government, justice, defense, transportation and communications, Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office, Presidential Communications Operation Office, National Telecommunications Commission, National Privacy Commission, and Executive Director of the Anti-Terrorism Council – Program Management Center.