TOP | 2015 | Weekly Column | Public Key Infrastructure in the Philippines: Securing the Digital Future

Public Key Infrastructure in the Philippines: Securing the Digital Future
Content Development and Web Coordination Staff
Mr. Jose Lorenzo C. Abuel
As a developing country, the Philippines has been lagging in terms of basic development in digitization, but the current government has been at work in implementing policies to augment these problems. For the past few years, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has been training government employees to adapt modern Public Key Infrastructures (PKIs) in order to improve the current system of governance. I was fortunate enough to be part of a contingent that was sent last September 18, 2015 to Dagupan City, Pangasinan to hear one of the leaders of DOST's Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI) regarding the developments that they have been implementing as part of the iGovPhil project.

The speaker was Mr. Reynaldo Joseph A. Callao, the project leader for PKI, the current Bids and Awards Chairperson for DOST-ASTI, and a researcher who has been involved in the validation of the Philippine's first fully automated election system. He delivered the speech to the audience of Dagupan which was composed of city mayors, barangays (the smallest zones of governance in the Philippines), and students from high school and college. He started off by explaining what PKI means, which is basically a collection of policies, procedures, and technology to manage, create, and distribute public keys. He also explained that public keys are used to encrypt information that another party wants to send to another party or individual. Private keys are there to decrypt data and at the same time, allow the user to send it to another party safely by creating features so that a third party cannot tamper or reveal the information behind the intended message.

His talk focused more on the application of the technology to government services, noting that through digitization, the government can cut on expenses; moving from the Create-Print-Sign-Scan-Share paradigm which has costs on the printing and scanning components, to the Create-Sign-Share paradigm, which ensures the integrity and confidentiality of the documents and at the same time cuts costs and produces documents that are resilient to disasters. Closing his talk, Mr. Callao urged everyone to be keen on taking the necessary training for the adaptation of the structure since this will pave the way to secure the digital future of the Filipino.
[at Pico de Loro, philippines]