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Cybersecurity plan set for TradeNet

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THE DEPARTMENT of Finance (DoF) said it will integrate cybersecurity features in the country’s new trade facilitation platform.

“A digital trading platform that aims to reduce the processing time and number of transactions for import and export clearances will be reinforced with cybersecurity features to keep it safe from unauthorized access and other forms of cyberattacks,” the DoF said in a statement yesterday.

The DoF was referring to TradeNet, the country’s National Single Window System for Customs clearances launched in December that is also linked to some Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) counterparts.

“Our cybersecurity system will be implemented to provide monitoring and continuous vigilance services for TradeNet,” Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III was quoted as saying.

Mr. Dominguez said earlier that cybersecurity is considered a “big investment,” in the face of numerous cases of hacking in various countries.

During his visit to China earlier this year, Mr. Dominguez said that he was introduced to Alibaba Group’s cybersecurity system, which pinpoints threats in real time.

The government has initially linked 16 government agencies to TradeNet, covering frequently traded goods such as rice, sugar, used motor vehicles, some chemicals, frozen meat, medicines and cured tobacco.

It will eventually be expanded to 66 agencies concerned with Customs clearances.

TradeNet is among the government initiatives to deploy information and communications technology to enhance governance efficiency.

The DoF is also currently preparing the nationwide rollout of the online Unified Business Permit Application Form under the Philippine Business Data Bank for local government units, the Government Cloud Service portal for all government information, and the PHPay platform designed to centralize all online payments with the government.

Such initiatives are expected to cut red tape, which will improve ease of doing business, and reduce corruption as transactions will have less human contact.

The Philippines ranked 113th in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business listings in 2017, 14 notches down from a year earlier. — Elijah Joseph C. Tubayan