PCOO:Gov’t virtual portal for COVID-19 safe from hackers

March 22, 2020

THE Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) on Sunday guaranteed that the government’s virtual portal that serves as one-stop source for the latest information about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is protected from potential hackers.

Princess Pebbles Duque, director of Bureau of Communications Services, said the PCOO is in close coordination with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to secure the website www.covid19.gov.ph from anyone who will attempt to hack the online portal.

Duque also ensured that the government is ready to fix any possible technical glitches that might affect the website’s operations.

“Sa tulong po ng DICT team, sinisigurado po namin sa publiko na 24/7 po naming binabantayan ang website na ito” she said during the “Laging Handa” program aired on state-run PTV-4.

Duque gave the assurance, after the PCOO launched a virtual portal that contains aggregated news, documents, and videos that the public can find useful as they monitor updates on COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

PCOO Assistant Secretary and chief brand integrator Ramon Cualoping III said launching an online portal exclusive for the latest developments related to COVID-19 is one of the government’s ways to fight the proliferation of fake news.

Cualoping acknowledged that there is now a “chaotic situation on social media,” as some online users tend to propagate fake news about the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said the government wants to fight disinformation by providing the public“verified and vetted” information about the coronavirus disease.
“Isa sa pinakaimportanteng parte para mapanatili ang trust and confidence ng bawat isa ay ang website,” Cualoping said. “Ang gobyerno ay nandito para sa inyo. Ilalahad ang tamang impormasyon.”

Trust your government

The creation of the virtual portal came after President Rodrigo Duterte placed the entire Luzon under enhanced community quarantine until April 12 in an effort to contain COVID-19.People residing in Luzon are required to observe strict home quarantine and limit their movements to accessing basic needs.

Since the implementation of Luzon-wide community quarantine, some fake news peddlers have begun spreading false information about the COVID-19 outbreak.

Duque said the government’s goal was to stop the proliferation of fake news that merely sows confusion among the public.

“Magsi-silbi po itong gabay o proteksyon para din po sa mga nagkakalat na hindi valid or invalid information po, para ma-guide ang ating mga kababayan kung ano ang mga totoo,” she said.

Cualoping likewise appealed to the public to trust the government as it continues to fight COVID-19.

“Sa panahong ito, you have to trust your government, you have to believe your government. And when you trust and believe the government, mas mapapadali po ang trabaho ng lahat, ng private sector, ngpublic sector,” he said.

As of Saturday, the number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines climbed to 380, the Department of Health reported. PNA