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MVP center of cybersecurity
The author, PLDT-Smart chairman and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan, Air Force chief Lt. Gen. Allen T. Paredes, PLDT chief revenue officer and Smart Communications president, Alfredo S. Panlilio, and Maj. Gen. Vener Odilon D. Mariano, Philippine Army.

MVP center of cybersecurity

MIKE ABOUT TOWN - Atty. Mike Toledo (The Philippine Star) - February 23, 2021 - 12:00am

The daunting task of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) in patrolling our ­cyber skies needed a buildup in capacities and capabilities, and that reliance must be made with the support and assistance of the private sector.

The PLDT Group, the country’s leading digital and telecommunications provider, signed a letter of conformity on its partnership with the PAF to support and assist the latter with its cyber security efforts.

PLDT chairman and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan (MVP) said then that, “We are one with the government in ensuring that our country is safe from cyber threats,” adding, “We look forward to more engagements with the PAF and the Armed Forces of the Philippines on this front.”

Maj. Gen. Vener Odilon D. Mariano, MVP, Lt. Gen. Allen T. Paredes.

PLDT and its wireless subsidiary, Smart Communications Inc., already beefed up investments in their arsenal against cyber threats. Close to P2 billion has already been spent on their advanced cybersecurity operations center.

According to Angel Redoble, PLDT-Smart FVP and chief information security officer, the center is where they predict, prevent, detect, and respond to cyber threats in all forms, including online sexual abuse and exploitation of children (OSAEC).

The facility is where they identify phishing and scamming activities, to be able to notify their enterprise subscribers of attacks and high-risk activities inside their network.

Just recently, PLDT-Smart, together with the Philippine Air Force, broke ground for the construction of the MVP Cybersecurity Center for Excellence. This was held in ceremonies at the Col. Jesus Villamor Air Base in Pasay City, led by MVP and by PAF commanding general, Lt. Gen. Allen T. Paredes.

The MVP Cybersecurity Center for Excellence, the first of its kind in the country, aims to establish a cybersecurity facility to enhance the cyber defense capability of the PAF in line with its modernization efforts towards its Flight Plan 2028.

This state-of-the-art facility will house the PAF Security Operations Center, Network Operations Center and Cyber Range, which will serve as the training ground for future cyber warriors of the Air Force.

Mariano, MVP and Paredes.

This was all part of the commitment that MVP made as a member of the PAF Multi-Sector Governance Council (PAF-MSGC), of which I also have the honor to be actively involved in for several years now.

The PAF MSGC is an external advisory group tasked to provide expert advice on the concerns of Philippine Air Force Flight Plan 2028 related to governance and policy, resource generation, strategic communication, and strategy review.

The PAF Flight Plan 2028 is a 14-year strategic plan that provides interventions, which are both characterized as positive reinforcements and values added, highlighting the commitment of the PAF to pursue genuine reforms founded on good governance and performance excellence.

The PAF MSGC is chaired by my good friend and fellow UP Law alumnus, former defense secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr., with former labor secretary Prof. Nieves Confesor as vice chairperson. It counts as its members Sen. Sonny Angara, Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, Finance Undersecretary Tony Lambino, former senator Bam Aquino, Budget Undersecretary Tina Rose Canda, Commission on Higher Education chairperson Popoy de Vera, former Immigration commissioner lawyer Fred Mison, FINEX trustee Ronald Goseco, and noted author, columnist, and inspirational speaker Francis Kong.

The MSGC works closely with PAF officers led by Lt. Gen. Paredes and the Air Force Strategic Management Office led by Lt. Col. Marvin Suficiencia.

Public-private partnerships work when you have dedicated professionals like the PAF leadership and its members to work with.

(From left): PLDT chief revenue officer and Smart Communications president Alfredo S. Panlilio; PAF deputy assistant chief of air staff for C4S (A6), Lt. Col. Derrick S. Ablog PAF (GSC); deputy chief of staff for communication, electronic and information system (J6) Maj. Gen. Vener Odilon D. Mariano; Smart Communications AVP Francisco Ashley L. Acedillo; Manuel V. Pangilinan; PLDT chief information security officer, Angel T. Redoble; Lt. Gen. Allen T. Paredes; Wing Commander of the 520th Air Base Wing, Brig. Gen. Michael J. Lorenzo; the author; Air Force Inspector General, Brig. Gen. Stephen P. Parreño; and the Air Force chief of engineers Col. Pio C. Gomez.

Aside from the support to the PAF, PLDT and Smart have been actively participating in discussions to give more teeth to Republic Act No. 10175, or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, and have likewise invited members of Congress and government regulators in the cybersecurity operations center for a deeper understanding on how cyber threats are dealt with.

Indeed, the only way to deal with cyber threats, which occur incessantly on a daily basis, is for both government and the private sector to work together.

CYBERSECURITY MVP
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