DICT offers PH national public key infrastructure to gov’t offices

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The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) said it has reached out to various government institutions to offer one of its core services, the Philippine National Public Key Infrastructure (PNPKI).

The institutions include the Civil Service Commission (CSC), Commission on Audit (COA), Supreme Court (SC), House of Representatives (HOR), and the Senate.

This is in response to the increasing need to ensure confidentiality, authenticity, integrity and non-repudiation of electronic transactions and documents during the Covid-19 crisis.

PKI is the framework of encryption and cybersecurity that protects communications between the server or website and the clients or users. It works by using two different cryptographic keys: a public key and a private key, according to ww.venafi.com.

DICT initially offered its PNPKI services to the Department of Justice – National Prosecution Service (DOJ-NPS) for conducting electronic and online inquest proceedings (e-inquest), as well as to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA)—Regional Development Council (RDC)—X (Northern Mindanao) for securing electronic documents.

“PNPKI allows users of public networks to exchange important data in a secure manner. PNPKI proves to be very useful during this time where most government offices are in work from home arrangements,” DICT secretary Gregorio B. Honasan II explained.

“We are in a state of crisis and it is the duty of the DICT to ensure security in electronic and online transactions among our institutions.  We shall take strengthened measures to support the collective vision of our government, through the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID), in its battle against Covid-19.” Honasan added.

Pursuant to Executive Order No. 810 series of 2009, the DICT operates the Root Certification Authority (RootCA) and Government Certification Authority (GovCA) for the processing and issuance of digital signature certificates. This is part of the government’s effort to institutionalize the application of digital signatures in E-Government Services.

Interested applicants may refer to DICT Department Circular 06, series of 2020, which provides guidelines on alternative means of application and issuance of PNPKI digital certificates for external clients from various government agencies, private entities and the general public during the state of public health emergency.

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