SENATOR Risa Hontiveros reiterated her concern over the security risk brought by Dito Telecommunity Corp. which is set to commercially roll out next month.
Hontiveros pointed out the lack of defense the National Security Council (NSC) has on cybersecurity threats caused by the country’s third telco.
“The National Security Council admitted that it had not yet — as of our last hearing on Dito telco’s franchise — established a cyberdefense doctrine to guide our intelligence community in combatting cybersecurity threats,” said Hontiveros.
“With China having a 40 percent stake in Dito, our unpreparedness for potential cyberthreats does not inspire confidence in the telco’s rollout this March, especially since it continues to harass our fisher folk and refuses to have its vessels boarded within our territorial waters in the West Philippine Sea,” added the senator.
Hontiveros also mentioned Dito’s deal with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to install cell towers in military camps, opening the defense establishment to the risk of hostile intelligence gathering operations.
Nonetheless, she hopes the issue will be given focus and carefully watched by the Senate, including the other threats that may be triggered by the entry of the Dito-China Tel.
“I do hope that before Dito rolls out, we in the Senate can scrutinize the potential national risks further,” Hontiveros stressed.
Sen. Grace Poe, in previous hearings, also expressed dismay over the failure of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the NSC to assure the Philippines’ ability to combat the raging cybersecurity warfare.
Poe also questioned the preparedness of Dito-ChinaTel to fulfill its commitment over the first five years to deliver their services and to fund its telco project.