Gov’t agencies asked to use PNPKI for online transactions

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The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) has issued a memorandum circular directing government agencies to use the Philippine National Public Key Infrastructure (PNPKI), which utilizes digital signatures in signing official documents.

ARTA made the directive through Memorandum Circular No. 2020-06 released last August 27. It encouraged government instrumentalities to adopt the Philippine National Public Key Infrastructure (PNPKI) developed by the Department of Information and Communications Technology’s (DICT).

The circular itself was electronically signed by signatories from ARTA using digital certificates. Likewise, a recently issued Joint Memorandum Circular to streamline requirements and reduce procedural delays in securing the necessary permits, licenses, clearances, certificates, and other requirements in the construction of Shared Passive Telecommunications Tower Infrastructures (PTTI) between ARTA, DICT, and other concerned Agencies was signed using DICT’s PNPKI.

The PNPKI, according to the DICT, ensures confidentiality, authenticity, integrity and non-repudiation of electronic transactions and documents. It allows users of public networks to exchange important data in a secure manner.

On April 6, 2020, the DICT released Department Circular No. 006 or the Guidelines on the Application and Issuance of PNPKI Digital Certificates for External Clients during the State of Public Health Emergency. Interested applicants may refer to the guideline which can be accessed at the DICT website.

“The DICT appreciates ARTA’s efforts in promoting the use of PNPKI to ensure reduced contact between employees of government agencies and their external clients. The DICT has earlier offered its PNPKI services to various agencies to help them adopt to new work arrangements and the new normal in public service delivery. With ARTA’s help, we expect more government agencies to use digital signing of documents and avail of our PNPKI services,” DICT secretary Gregorio B. Honasan II said.

“With the threat of virus transmission still looming, utilizing ICT and PNPKI in online transactions is one way of helping prevent further transmission of Covid-19,” he added.

Recently, it was reported that 97% of the Office of the Solicitor General’s workforce are already using the PNPKI service. The DICT, however, said it is seeking to have more government agencies to avail and use electronic signatures and the PNPKI service.

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