JICA and DICT team up to make cyberspace safe for Filipinos


The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) have teamed up to improve cyber security in the Philippines.

Both agencies signed up this week the workplan for cybersecurity experts dispatched by JICA to the Philippines for a two-year project on Capacity Building for Cybersecurity to boost the capacity of DICT and other government organizations as well as to allow exchange of knowledge and experiences particularly on incident handling & monitoring, and sectoral coordination, among others. The technical cooperation is very timely and imperative, and aligned with “National Cybersecurity Plan (NCSP) 2024-28” approved by His Excellency Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on February 6th, which sets the direction of the Philippine government in responding to cyber threats and network intrusions.

This partnership is crucial in this age of digitization as it will help enhance security of the Philippines’ critical information structures. Based on one recent statistic, the Philippines is the fourth most attacked country in the world, with over 50 million web threat attempts in 2021. Also, the Philippines ranked 61st out of 194 countries worldwide (13th out of 38 countries in Asia Pacific) in the 2020 Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI), placing below major ASEAN countries. There is still an obvious need to beef up the country’s cybersecurity position to enhance the protection of government agencies, critical information infrastructures, businesses and supply chains, and every Filipino in cyberspace.

“Currently, digitization, digitalization and digital transformation are the solid priority policies for a prosperous future, and at the same time, cybersecurity is becoming a major concern which requires immediate response. We aim to assist the Philippines in achieving Trusted, Secure, and Reliable Cyberspace for every Filipino in the digital age. Through this cooperation, Japanese experts will help develop modules and support activities that will complement the NCSP” said JICA Chief Representative SAKAMOTO Takema. “This is also an opportunity to help build convergence of different stakeholders in the Philippines and come up with measures to make digital systems trusted, secure and reliable.”

Thanks to Japan’s continued efforts and coordination among all stakeholders, it was announced that there were no major incidents that interfered with Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2021 although there were as many as 450 million suspicious accesses. For example, in Japan, the National Cyber Training Center (NCTC) was established in 2017 to promote the development of cyber security resilience. NCTC has been providing the practical cyber defense exercises such as Cyber Defense Exercise with Recurrence (CYDER) for government agencies, local governments, and critical social infrastructure providers. Also, NCTC provided Cyber Colosseum Project, a practical exercise in a simulated environment to prepare for incidents in the time of the games in order to ensure proper operation of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.

As part of the JICA-DICT cooperation, training modules will be developed and implemented to boost technical capability of cybersecurity personnel, seminar/workshop about sectoral coordination and collaboration schemes will be conducted, and cybersecurity awareness will be enhanced through seminars and information materials.

In addition, through JICA’s Knowledge Co-Creation Program (Training Program) since 2012, JICA has been providing about 50 Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)-related training courses to the Philippines, such as Capacity Building for ICT Project Planning (e.g. e-Government, e-Education, e-Health, e-agriculture, etc.), Digital Terrestrial TV Broadcasting (DTTB) Policy and Engineering, Strengthening of Cooperation Among Organizations Against Cyberattacks, ICT Core Personnel Development and so forth.



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