Government institutions in the Philippines, including national government agencies (NGAs), state universities and colleges (SUCs) and government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs), are encouraged to review and assess their current information and communications technology (ICT) equipment and software.

Updating ICT equipment and software is a step towards optimizing the use of available bandwidth, and minimizing risks associated with the use of old or outdated ICT hardware and software, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) said. It is important to periodically check for updates in order to create a safe cyberspace for all, and to ensure that worries due to system bugs, lags, and errors are lessened during this time where government’s productivity relies heavily on ICT.

“The COVID-19 crisis in the country puts many of our fellow Filipinos and many of our institutions exposed to high security risks due to higher dependency on ICT resources. We encourage everyone, as a matter of good practice, to periodically check for updates, especially those that are needed to address possible security vulnerabilities on outdated software or even equipment,” DICT Secretary Gregorio B. Honasan II explained.

Such call is in line DICT’s commitment to utilize information and communications technology in supporting the initiatives and policies of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) and to ensure consistent and reliable telecommunication services, sufficient bandwidth allocation and internet stability across government and private sectors in the Philippines during the COVID-19 public health emergency.