Lacson to DND: Pursue cyber, tech capabilities in age of modern warfare

In this age of biotechnology and artificial intelligence, the Philippines should be developing its cyber- and technological capabilities to ward off threats on those fronts.

Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson stressed this on Tuesday as he exhorted the Department of National Defense to exhaust all means to pursue this course of action.

“We are in an age of biotechnology and artificial intelligence. We should be looking at control of the airwaves and cyberspace,” Lacson said at the hearing for the DND’s 2019 budget at the Senate.

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“Hindi ba dapat doon na tayo papunta (Are we not supposed to be heading in that direction)? I think you should pursue that,” Lacson told DND officials led by Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.

The DND is seeking P6.856 million for an Armed Forces of the Philippines Cyberspace Simulation Center. The amount is for three years, from 2019 to 2021.

Yet, the Department of Budget and Management “scheduled” the funding to start in 2020.

Also, the DBM did not adopt a proposal by the DND for P23.283 million to activate a Cyber Group.

This does not bode well for the country at a time potential threats are coming not just from conventional sources but also from cyberspace, Lacson said.

“How can we implement these programs if there is no funding?” he said.