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Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Assures Adequate Controls in Place for Government’s Cloud First Policy

Makati Mayor Abby Binay is joined by (L-R) Romy Cabaliza, President of Comfac Technology Options (CTO); DICT Director Maria Victoria Castro, Former DOTC Usec. Julianito Bucayan, Jr. and Mack Comandante during the 1st Philippine CTO Summit: Cloud 4.0 held last April 27 in Makati City, Philippines

Makati, Philippines – The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has affirmed that the government's Cloud First Policy adheres to local and international security standards and all relevant Philippine laws. The policy promotes the use of cloud computing solutions as a primary part of the government's infostructure planning and procurement.

 During the 1st Philippine CTO Summit: Cloud 4.0 dubbed “Moving from Public Clouds to In-Country Clouds” held on Thursday, April 27 in Makati City, Maria Victoria Castro, Director IV, National ICT Planning, Policy and Standards Bureau, DICT, stated, “All data created, collected, organized, modified, retrieved, used, consolidated, sourced from, or owned by the Philippine government, including all its agencies and instrumentalities, or by any national of the Philippines or any entity that has links to the Philippines, which are in the cloud, regardless of location, shall be governed by Philippine laws, policies, rules, and regulations.”

 Castro further added that the government's Cloud First Policy covers all executive departments, bureaus, offices, agencies, instrumentalities of the national government, including GOCCs and subsidiaries, SUCs, and LGUs. She also emphasized that Congress, judiciary, constitutional commissions, and the Office of the Ombudsman are encouraged to adopt the Cloud First Policy.

 The Philippine government, its agencies, and instrumentalities retain full control and ownership over their data, according to the DICT Circular. No transfer, storage, or processing of government data in cloud infrastructure is permitted unless made in accordance with the provisions of the Circular and other relevant laws, policies, rules, regulations, and issuances.

 Robert Jenkin, co-founder and CEO of Cloud Sigma, a cloud service provider which has been operating through its partner in the Philippines, Comfac Technology Options (CTO), shared that professional cloud providers have international recognized certifications and strict procedures. He added, “If you put something in the cloud and you don’t secure it properly, then it’s at risk.”

Robert Jenkin, co-founder and CEO of CloudSigma (left), with Nikolay Kossev, COO of
Comfac Technology Op/ons at the sidelines of the 1
st Philippine CTO Summit: Cloud 4.0
held last April 27 in Makati City, Philippines

 Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources, including networks, servers, storage, applications, and services, that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. The model is aimed at reducing the cost (acquisition and operation) of government ICT by eliminating duplication of hardware and systems and fragmentation of databases. Cloud computing also promotes inter-agency collaboration for greater efficiency and better citizen online services, faster deployment of services, ensures operational continuity and business recovery, and greater budget control.

 In her keynote message, Makati Mayor Abby Binay emphasized how her city has prepared to become a “digitally-empowered society” and has taken the initiative to promote cloud technology adoption in Makati City by implementing cloud-based solutions that improve the lives of its constituents. “With cloud-based technology, we will be able to realize our vision of a smarter and more efficient city. It will enable us to better serve our constituents by providing faster and more effective services, from public safety and health to finance,” Binay adds.

 The government's Cloud First Policy is expected to increase efficiency and transparency in delivering government services while maintaining the privacy and security of government data.

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