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PNKI DIGITAL SIGNATURES: WHAT IS IT?

            Advancement in technology and its positive effect on society has been seen throughout history but digital technology has advanced more quickly than any other forms of technology amid the health crisis we are facing today. Due to the restrictions on the movement of people and the rules on physical distancing imposed by the government to contain the Coruna virus, digital technology has proven to be a necessary tool to help ensure that living with a semblance of normalcy will continue. That is, access to information, communication, government services, education, and necessities is still possible.

            One example of mobilizing digital technology to respond to the current crisis is DepEd’s mobilization of application of its employees to obtain Philippine National Public Key Infrastructure (PNPKI) digital signatures to be used in preparation for the upcoming 2022 national and local election. “We are continuously cooperating with our lead agencies to have a secure and peaceful elections, and part of our commitment is to ensure that our teachers are protected and given the proper support,” Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones said.

            Technology has many advantages, but it has also its own fair share of disadvantages. Among others, is it can infringe our privacy and destroy our security? To protect all teachers who will serve as Electoral Board Members in the upcoming elections, the Commission on Elections imposed the PNPKI signature as a major requirement. PNPKI signature allows users of public networks like the internet to exchange private data securely.

            In connection with this, Col. E. De Leon Elementary School responded to the call of the COMELEC to DepEd personnel to have their PNPKI signature validated. CEDLES’ orientation on online application for the issuance of digital signature took place via Google Meet last August 18, 2021. It was spearheaded by two of the best school ICT coordinators – Alvin Morano and Bliss P. Loy. They did a virtual tutorial on how to fill – up the PNPKI form and how to navigate across the DepEd Learning Management System portal to complete the process of applying for the digital signature. As of today, the ICT’s are still busy validating our application in order for the certificates to be issued.

            Teachers together with the other DepEd staff can now be assured that their signatures will not be used in other transactions other than what it is intended for. By this PNPKI signatures invasion of privacy and security will be avoided. Thanks to the power of technology.    

–  PRIMITIVA TRONO