Scam Watch Pilipinas: Addressing the grassroots cybersecurity knowledge gap

(Keynote address given by Scam Watch Pilipinas Co-Founder and Co-Lead Convenor Jocel de Guzman during the formal launch of the National Scam Watch Movement by the DICT and CICC

2020 was the year when the pandemic accelerated the digitalization of Filipinos.

85 million is the estimated number of Filipinos using the internet in 2022.

11 is the average hours a day Filipinos use the internet.

93 million was the estimated number of Filipinos active in social media.

58 million Filipinos are using e-wallets, again as of 2022.

17.9 billion US dollars is the estimated total annual spend of Filipinos on online goods purchases.

2.08 trillion pesos is the value of the Philippine Digital economy in 2022 which was 9.4% of the GDP according to the National Statistics Authority or NSA.

We are now a digital nation.

But digitalization has unintended consequence such as cybercrime especially cyber fraud.

3.5 billion is the estimated economic loss due to cyberattacks according to Frost and Sullivan in 2018 which was 5 years ago.  I am sure this is very high now.

With the proliferation of cybercrime, the private sector is spending millions of US dollars in investing in the most advanced cybersecurity to protect their digital infrastructure.

Many companies, heavily invested in the digital business, have been participating in forums like this with the various government agencies to address the cybersecurity policy and skills gap which is important from the macro level.

However, what we feel is neglected is the failure to address the cybersecurity knowledge gap from the micro level.

The actual value and number of Filipinos who are victims of cyber fraud cannot be determined though there are figures being reported. 

This is because, many of these victims don’t report or don’t know where to report.

We don’t have a strong cybersecurity culture at the grassroots level due to lack of digital literacy and cyber hygiene mindset and attitude.

This is the reason why my start-up reputation management and advocacy marketing company, Truth360 partnered with Manila Bulletin to establish Scam Watch Pilipinas.

Scam Watch Pilipinas is a national cybersecurity movement to educate Filipinos and instill cybersecurity culture in every household against cyber fraud.

Our vision is to bring together companies, government, various sectors and the public to build a community of watchers in key cities and towns nationwide.

Our mission to educate one Filipino at a time against online scams by doing the following:

Address the unintended consequences of digitalization specifically cyber fraud and online scams by educating and empowering the Filipinos under a unified front involving the companies, brands, various sectors, and key government agencies.  

Empower Filipinos to report incident of cyber fraud to the Inter-Agency Response Center (I-ARC) by calling Hotline 1326 and other reporting channels of the government.

Build a vigilant multi-sectoral community nationwide under Scam Watch Pilipinas to become the national citizen arm of the government in fighting cyber fraud.

Establish a system that educates individuals about the various online scams prevalent today and to empower internet users to take action against the scammers. We want Nurture a cybersecurity culture and mindset in every Filipino household.

Create and propose to include digital literacy and cyber hygiene as a curriculum for elementary and high school students to protect the next generation against cyber fraud. We are partnering with Journalism Studies Association of the Philippines and academe to create a digital literacy and cyber hygiene module.

We would like to thank DICT Secretary Ivan Uy and CICC Executive Director Alexander Ramos for believing in our vision and for opening the doors of the government for collaboration in protecting the Filipinos against cyber fraud.

Please Like and Follow Scam Watch Pilipinas on Facebook at

(Keynote address given by Scam Watch Pilipinas Co-Founder and Co-Lead Convenor Jocel de Guzman during the formal launch of the National Scam Watch Movement by the DICT and CICC)

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