News and Events


Dr. David Hall, Chief of Party of the USAID STRIDE Project; Mr. Lloyd Ernst, CEO and Founder of Cloudstaff Inc.; Mr. Mirshariff Tillah, Senior Education Adviser of the USAID Mission in the Philippines; Dr. Fiorello Abenes, Dr. Robert Keitel, and other guests from USAID STRIDE Project; Director Lord Fernandez and other guests from Texas Instruments; Dr. Frankie Villanueva and officers of the Metro Clark ICT Council; representatives of the local media—Sun Star, PUNTO, and CLTV 36; guests from the Metro Angeles business community; Dr. Alma Espartinez, Vice President for Academic Affairs; Professor Maria Teresa Salta, Dean of the College of Information and Communications Technology; students, faculty, and administrators of Holy Angel University: Good morning. To our guests from RTI, USAID, and Cloudstaff, welcome to Holy Angel University.

Twelve years ago, three-time Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas Friedman published his award-winning best-seller The World is Flat. In it, Friedman wrote about the drastic changes that have occurred in the last fifteen years or so—events that have leveled the global playing field. He wrote about ten so-called "flatteners." These are the things that have enabled us to connect with the rest of the world much more easily than ever before. These flatteners are such events as the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, Netscape going public in 1995, uploading—a phenomenon that he described as the most disruptive of all, and the new "technologies on steroids"—cell phones, wireless devices, always being connected, and so on. These events have made our world a new place. I recall that the buzzwords at that time were Globalization 3.0 or the "New Economy."

Thanks to these new tools, a leveled playing field has been created. Employees from one organization no longer have to work side-by-side inside the same building. Individuals from anywhere in the world can now compete with others from around the world. This convergence has also resulted in the production and dissemination of information at a speed not known before. What we learn today in school will be outdated by tomorrow and, therefore, the most successful people in the "flat world" will be those who are able to adapt and learn quickly.

Unfortunately, the technologies on steroids that enabled our flat world has also enabled the weaponization of misinformation to create what we now call the "Post-Truth Age." For educators like us here at Holy Angel, there are only a few things more disconcerting than the viral spread of misinformation. Despite our varying political views, we all share our collective mission of discerning and teaching truth, as well as enabling our students to be truth-discerning critical thinkers. As educators, we can no longer take for granted the importance of teaching reality-based, evidence-supported thinking.

Outside the four walls of the university is a phenomenon that is just as disconcerting as misinformation. During the period 2013-2015, the Philippines had a total of 1,211 reported cybercrime incidents, 366 online scam complaints, 240 online libel complaints, 129 online threat complaints, and a daily average of 17 ransomware attacks per day. The Philippines ranked 33rd out of 233 in Kaspersky’s list of countries most prone to cyberattacks and third in Asia for social media scams last year. There are 84 Filipino Certified Information Systems Security Professionals (CISSPs), only 44 of whom are working in the Philippines.

One of the four strategic objectives of Holy Angel University is to become an authentic instrument for countryside development. We will not be true to our role as a servant of society if we are not able to contribute educational programs that will bring about Confidence in Cyberspace.

Through the proposed Professional Science Master's (PSM) Program in Cybersecurity, Holy Angel University seeks to create a cadre of academically qualified information systems security professionals to serve the needs of Philippine national development. The PSM in Cybersecurity is an interdisciplinary, hybrid program that provides IT professionals with specialized knowledge in cybersecurity and related skill sets to meet the demands and challenges of economic and infrastructure security in a high-technology society.

The PSM in Cybersecurity is a confluence of two important educational programs: Cybersecurity and the Professional Science Master’s program, which seeks to provide scientists and engineers with management and leadership competencies. With this convergence of knowledge, PSM graduates are expected to make significant impact on the IT not only in Central Luzon, but also in the nation as our PSM in Cybersecurity will be the first of its kind in the Philippines. We will produce highly valued graduates who will occupy critical posts from IT managers to chief information officers and eventually become IT security service providers.

Offering this PSM program addresses the dearth of experts in the field locally and globally. In the recent survey of 1,062 IT professionals released by ISACA—the Information Systems Audit and Control Association—and Protiviti, a global consultancy firm, IT security, data privacy, and cybersecurity was identified as the top technology and business challenge that organizations face today.HAU's PSM in Cybersecurity Program has adopted the dimensions of the thought model of CSEC2017, the global standard produced by Joint Task Force on Cybersecurity Education organized by the four major international computing societies.

Please allow me to make a personal comment at this point. My passion for countryside development dates back to my college student days at the University of the Philippines in Diliman more than forty years ago. After graduating from college, my first job was with the Farm Systems Development Corporation, which was the Development Academy of the Philippines’s Rural Development Program spun off. FSDC was engaged in the financing and construction of small-scale irrigation projects, a large program that was enabled by a $6.5 million assistance from the USAID. When I decided to return to my country of birth two years ago, among the first to congratulate me and welcome me back was Dr. Robert Keitel who introduced me to the STRIDE Program. Nothing in this world occurs by accident and, as Albert Einstein wrote, coincidences are God’s way of remaining anonymous. I, therefore, believe that Providence has ordained that my first professional engagements in the Philippines would have the mark of USAID on them.

With the technical assistance of the USAID STRIDE Project, Holy Angel University seeks to become the National Center for Academic Excellence in Information Assurance that will contribute to the achievement of Confidence in Cyberspace in our country. Many thanks to USAID STRIDE for enabling our program development and many thanks as well to Cloudstaff for agreeing to be our founding partner!

Laus Deo Semper!

Date Posted: 03-08-2017