Breaking News: SLU Joins Forces for Cyber Supremacy!

Wilson Chua
2 min readDec 7, 2023


In a groundbreaking move to fortify the Philippines against escalating cyber threats, Saint Louis University (SLU) emerged as the Global Center of Excellence (GCOE) in Data Privacy and Cybersecurity. Formed through a strategic alliance with two influential Communities of Practice — the National Association of Data Protection Officers of the Philippines (NADPOP) and the Philippine Computer Emergency Response Team (PH-CERT) — the GCOE aims to enhance the skills and expertise of Data Privacy and Cybersecurity professionals in Baguio City, Benguet Province, CAR, and Regions 1 and 2.

Fr. Gilbert Sales, SLU’s President, emphasized the pivotal role of education institutions in safeguarding privacy rights and combating cyber threats. Dr. Cecilia Mercado, SLU’s Data Protection Officer, highlighted the relentless nature of hackers and stressed the importance of creating a human firewall through awareness and education. Sam Jacoba, Founding President of NADPOP and Vice-President of PH-CERT, underlined the need for a Cyber Army, expressing gratitude that SLU has embraced the challenge.

Tripartite Partnership for National Cyber Defense

At the 6th Annual Year Ender conference, SLU, NADPOP, and PH-CERT formalized their collaboration through a Memorandum of Agreement. Recognizing the urgency of a collective approach, the three organizations asserted the necessity of a whole-of-nation strategy to protect institutions, organizations, and citizens from cyber threats, including state-sponsored actors. Recent high-profile hacks on government institutions like Philhealth and the Philippine Statistics Authority have thrust Cybersecurity and Data Privacy into the spotlight.

Philippines’ Cyber Landscape and International Collaboration

Recent cybersecurity statistics reveal the Philippines’ vulnerability, ranking fifth in data breaches in Asia since 2004 and fifth in phishing attacks in Southeast Asia in 2022. To fortify the country’s cyber defenses, PH-CERT signed a Memorandum of Agreement with seven ASEAN countries and Japan to form the ASEAN-Japan Cybersecurity Community Alliance (AJCCA). PH-CERT and NADPOP will collaborate with SLU to leverage resources and expertise from AJCCA, strengthening the cyber defense ecosystem in the Philippines, particularly in SLU’s regional areas.

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