Monday, June 17, 2024

Escudero: DICT needs new equipment, not confidential funds

The government can build a “credible and secure firewall against cyberattacks” without having to use confidential funds for the purpose, Sen. Chiz Escudero said on Tuesday, Nov. 7.

“If what the Department of Information and Communications and Technology (DICT) needs is to buy equipment and technology that will protect our critical infrastructure from cyberattacks, then it can do so using capital outlay funds,” Escudero said.

“I don’t believe you will be telegraphing your punches if you do the procurement the normal way. Para kang bumili ng fighter jet na alam ng buong mundo ang specs,” he said.

But in purchasing or collating information that could lead to the smashing of hacking syndicates, then confidential funds “may be the best currency for it,” Escudero admitted.

This can, however, be sourced from the President’s huge confidential war chest, “because by tradition these funds held by Malacañang are farmed out to agencies on a per project basis,” Escudero said.

Kung specified ang target, klaro ang objectives, this can be presented to the Office of the President for funding basta hindi wholesale ang pag-download ng pondo,” he said.

As to DICT’s wish to have a classified procurement process, Escudero said there are ways “to keep the purchase of sensitive equipment kept from public knowledge.”

Sa acquisition phase pa lang, pwede ka na mag-impose ng non-disclosure rules on certain aspects of procurement. At isa pa, you don’t go to town boasting what you have just bought,” he said.

Escudero said because “the stakes are high,” he backs DICT’s request for additional equipment, technology and manpower to boost the country’s cyber defenses.

Ang punto ko ay ang nature ng pondo na gagamitin. At sa aking tingin pwedeng gawin yan using ordinary funds,” he said.

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