The Philippine Dealing System Holdings Corp. (PDS Group) is preparing cybersecurity measures as it rolls out its online platform for the secondary market, the Department of Finance (DoF) said.

The PDS Group launched its electronic securities portal (e-SIP) for the primary market in May.

After the Ayala Land Inc. pilot in April, in which the company offered its four-year P10 billion bond, four more issuers onboarded securities and client investors through the portal, Philippine Dealing and Exchange Corp Chief Executive Officer Ma. Theresa B. Ravalo said at a Capital Market Development Council (CMDC) meeting.

“On the streamlining of e-SIP for the secondary market, there is an ongoing development and testing, and cybersecurity hardening to ensure that the necessary cybersecurity mitigants are in place before we push through with the secondary market phase,” she said.

She said the PDS Group is also working with bankers and securities brokers groups to maximize the use of e-SIP for customers.

“The goal is to roll out a standardized and digitalized customer suitability assessment form to eliminate the tedious process for investors of filling up the same forms several times when buying corporate bonds from different brokers, DoF said.

Meanwhile, Deputy Treasurer Erwin D. Sta. Ana at the same meeting said the bureau is working on including end-of-day prices of retail government securities in its mobile application.

The PDS Group and the CMDC are working on a vulnerability assessment program to identify threats to its systems.

“The CMDC has been moving very quickly in prodding both the government and private sectors in making it easier for Filipinos to invest, particularly in the bond market,” Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said in a press release on Friday.

“But we are also making sure that their investments are well-protected through robust cybersecurity systems.”

Earlier this month, industry and government officials said organizations need to train more cybersecurity professionals to keep up with the growing number of threats.

Privacy Commissioner Raymund E. Liboro had said that there will be a strong demand for cybersecurity and privacy expertise in the country as cyberattackers previously focused on threats to businesses now expose individuals to privacy risks. — Jenina P. Ibañez