Col­leagues: Honasan fit for DICT post

Philippine Daily Inquirer - - NEWS - By Leila B. Salaver­ria @LeilasINQ

His Se­nate col­leagues on Satur­day de­fended the ap­point­ment of Sen. Gre­go­rio Honasan as in­for­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tions sec­re­tary, say­ing his back­ground in se­cu­rity qual­i­fied him for the post.

Re­pub­lic Act No. 108444, which cre­ated the Depart­ment of In­for­ma­tion and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Tech­nol­ogy (DICT), listed the qual­i­fi­ca­tions of the sec­re­tary, un­der­sec­re­tary or as­sis­tant sec­re­tary of the depart­ment.

Th­ese in­cluded at least seven years of “com­pe­tence and ex­per­tise” in in­for­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tions tech­nol­ogy, in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy ser­vice man­age­ment, in­for­ma­tion se­cu­rity man­age­ment, cy­ber­se­cu­rity, data pri­vacy and ecom­merce.

Coup past

Honasan, who is com­plet­ing his sec­ond con­sec­u­tive term as se­na­tor and is barred from re­elec­tion, was a for­mer sol­dier and coup plot­ter.

But Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said Honasan’s back­ground had ex­posed him to cy­ber­se­cu­rity mat­ters and made him el­i­gi­ble for the post.

Honasan chairs the Se­nate’s na­tional de­fense com­mit­tee, Pimentel said in a ra­dio in­ter­view.

Pimentel, in an in­ter­view with dwIZ, said the law did not re­quire qual­i­fi­ca­tions to be­come head of DICT to be ac- quired from pri­vate prac­tice.

“It would be easy to com­ply with th­ese for as long as you have se­ri­ous ex­po­sure to IT, cy­ber­se­cu­rity and na­tional se­cu­rity,” Pimentel said.

Right team

He added that the head of the DICT need not be an ICT ex­pert but it was im­por­tant for him to assem­ble the right team.

The DICT sec­re­tary’s task was to make the fi­nal de­ci­sion and de­fend it be­fore the Cabi­net and the Pres­i­dent, he added.

In the same ra­dio in­ter­view, Sen. Cyn­thia Vil­lar also un­der­scored Honasan’s se­cu­rity back­ground.

Vil­lar said that in the dig­i­tal era, a ma­jor con­cern is the hack­ing of com­put­ers and abuse of in­for­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nol­ogy.

“I think Se­na­tor Honasan is equipped to solve that,” Vil­lar said.

Honasan would re­place Eliseo Rio at the DICT.

Rio, an elec­tron­ics and com­mu­ni­ca­tions engi­neer and also for­mer mil­i­tary gen­eral, has been over­see­ing the se­lec­tion of the coun­try’s third telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions player.

GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

SE­LEC­TION PROCESS A door at the Na­tional Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions Com­mis­sion of­fice in Que­zon City leads to a panel of of­fi­cials re­view­ing third telco bids.—

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