VP Sara lauds USAID for successful initiatives to improve the digitalization of PH

VP Sara lauds USAID for successful initiatives to improve the digitalization of PH

By Rjhay E. Laurea

MANILA — Vice President Sara Z. Duterte commended the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for the successful implementation of their Better Access and Connectivity (BEACON) project which comprised various initiatives to improve the digital ecosystem of the Philippines.

At the same time, she expressed her gratitude and appreciation for USAID’s continuous support to the Philippines which contributed a lot to the country’s growth.

“The assistance that the US Agency for International Development has provided for the Philippines over the past six decades has contributed to the resilient and sustainable economic growth of the nation as a whole, as well as improved the capacities of local government units, the academe, and civil society to address development challenges,” Duterte said.

She added that in this fast-advancing digital age, participation in the digital economy is essential and Filipinos are well-positioned to reap the benefits of internet-enabled applications and services. But as we go on a more intensified digitalization, cybersecurity threats are still

rampant.

“As more Filipinos go online to join the digital economy and benefit from the internet, we must ensure we are also taking action to minimize cybersecurity threats, and that we are building up a nation of cyber safe internet users,” the vice president added.

She lauded the efforts by the government to build cybersecurity technical capacity among the people and in the workforce as well as the efforts by partnerships with USAID’s BEACON on training cybersecurity professionals which are very welcome in order to ensure we are building a safe, secure and robust cyberspace.

“As we interact with international markets, government partners, and various industries, efficiency and security in our information technology platforms to ensure virtual connectivity is needed. Our partnership with international donors such as USAID is strategic in that they, as global technology and digital innovation leaders, can transfer knowledge and expertise to improve the state of our digital infrastructure and ecosystem in the Philippines,” she further explained.

To capacitate our people, we begin with institutional skills building for our national and local government that allows for increased reliability and competence of recipient Filipinos to conduct highly technical digital-based tasks, monitoring, and reporting. It also elevates the digital consciousness of the Filipino workforce, encourages positive outcomes, raises awareness of the negative implications of irresponsible digital sharing, and increases individual awareness of the risks posed by cyber-compromise.

“I hope that the activities initiated by USAID, through Better Access and Connectivity Activity, and the recommendations presented in today’s report, will be fully implemented in order to contribute to developing a safe and secure digital economy,” Duterte said.

“Our counterpart efforts shall be focused on providing the enabling environment for digital infrastructure to become efficient, reliable, and facilitative of a thriving digital economy. We shall look into policy reforms and consider risk-based cyber-protection planning frameworks to safeguard the interests of all stakeholders engaged in the increasingly integrated and connected global digital economy,” she added.

The vice president thanked USAID for the partnership highlighted today, and the analysis presented in the report to increase cybersecurity talent in the country. She was even more grateful for the instrumental support of USAID in advancing technological innovation and digitization in the Philippines.

“Together, let us strive to scale up local capacities and elevate the cybersecurity skills of the Filipinos. Patuloy nating mahalin ang Pilipinas (Let’s continue to love the Philippines),” Duterte’s parting statement. (ai/mtvn)

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