MANILA - The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) on Tuesday said it is eyeing to provide at least 500,000 cybersecurity personnel worldwide as the demand for the sector continues to rise.
DICT Secretary Ivan John Uy said they plan on developing "smart cities", as well as upskilling young Filipinos in digital skills "in order to answer the needs of our employers."
Some 3 million job opportunities are available worldwide for the sector, and the agency plans to train Filipinos to provide some 500,000 workers, said Uy.
"And all of these countries are looking at sourcing those talents and Philippines is one of the first areas that they look at dahil magagaling daw tayong mga hackers," Uy told Palace reporters.
"Sky is the limit considering [the] vacancies in the world, if we can supply even just one-fourth of that... think is a very very ambitious number. I think we need to build up the interest and necessary talent," he added.
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The country's communications technology chief lamented that there are only 200 Filipinos certified as cybersecurity experts and majority or 70 percent of them are working abroad.
Because Filipinos are "well-known as early technology adopters," among DICT's strategies are offering short courses to fulfill the demand on the short-run.
Government, meanwhile, will provide scholarships and would partner with private companies to boost Filipinos' interest in the field, he added.
"Ang nangyayari kasi is marami tayong talented technical people pero hindi sila nagka-qualify sa jobs dahil wala silang credentials, yung certification, kumbaga self-learn," he said.
"Importante kasi habang bata pa sila ay maturuan na sila ng or mabuhay ang interest nila sa mathematics, science, engineering, sa teknolohiya at bindi sila ma-distract masyado sa Facebook, Tiktok," said Uy.