With the increasing adoption of work-from-home arrangements in both the public and private sector, there is a pressing need to secure the integrity of documents and information over digital networks. This is where the digital certificates come in. Digital certificates act as proof of an individual or a machine’s electronic identity. It allows people to digitally sign and encrypt pending work documents.

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) encourages the public to avail of digital certificates to expedite and secure online work transactions.

The Department released Department Circular 06, which provides for the guidelines on alternative means of applying and issuance of the Philippine National Public Key Infrastructure’s (PNPKI) digital certificates for external clients from various government agencies, private entities and the general public during the declared state of public health emergency.

The operation of the PNPKI is part of the core services of Department. DICT’s PNPKI Division ensures and implements additional security features to avoid data breaches, forgery and tampering.

The use of digital certificates is consistent with the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) Advisory No. 01 series of 2020 which mandates government agencies to adopt fast-track measures—including the use of electronic signatures—to ensure continuity of public services during this time. These efforts also complement the intent behind Republic Act No. 11469 or the “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act” to promote efficiency among the public sector.

The Department Circular details the alternative mode of E-Filing of Applications for external clients that provides for online face-to-face verification instead of personal appearance of the applicant, among others. The verification process shall be done through free video call platforms such as Skype, Viber, WebEx and Zoom.

The Circular also provides guidelines for the use of the PNPKI Self-Service Portal for enrollment, installation, and downloading of duly approved PNPKI Digital Certificate. Moreover, inquiries regarding the registration process may be raised to the DICT support team for appropriate handling.

Interested applicants may refer to the [DEPARTMENT CIRCULAR NO. 6 – GUIDELINES ON THE APPLICATION AND ISSUANCE OF PNPKI DIGITAL CERTIFICATES FOR EXTERNAL CLIENTS DURING THE STATE OF PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY. ] and the link: https://dict.gov.ph/pnpki