Home » ITinerary » Is Customs Looking At Cloud Computing?

The iGov.ph website published last 11 June 2013 a news report entitled “Gov’t Pushes for Cloud Use, Launches GovCloud”.


The news article, which was also reported by other national dailies, reads in full:


“Department of Science and Technology (DOST) agencies, the Information and Communications Technology Office (DOST-ICTO) and the Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI) is encouraging government institutions to adopt the use of cloud applications over traditional IT systems, as it unveiled a new online service called GovCloud or Government Cloud, which will enable government agencies to use secure online applications for their various computing requirements.


“GovCloud was unveiled by Integrated Government Philippines (iGovPhil) Project at the start of a four-day celebration for Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Month 2013.

DOST-ICTO Undersecretary Louis Casambre said GovCloud is a sensible choice for government agencies. ‘With the GovCloud, agencies can maximize their resources and significantly reduce operating costs as they only use server resources when they need it, and when server load is high they can be allocated additional resources almost instantly’, he said.


“An example of cloud computing is that of Google, wherein users have files and applications on the web, doing away with local storage. All the users need to access their files and email on the web is a web browser. This kind of service is public cloud.


“The GovCloud is essentially a private cloud for the government and will be available for government agencies and their employees.


“‘Initially, basic cloud applications such as GovMail (government email), web hosting, and payment gateway applications will be available,’ said DOST-ASTI’s Denis Villorente, iGovPhil project director. ‘Project management, storage cloud, VoIP and government portal applications will be available in the near future. Custom cloud computing applications and platforms will also be available for those who need it.’


“Cloud computing has brought about a significant change in the economics and sustainability of ICT. By sharing computing resources through a high speed network connection or the Internet, applications can be allocated resources when needed and as needed, thus, reducing hardware acquisition and maintenance costs, essentially creating an ‘economies of scale’ for computing.

Several government agencies have already expressed interest in GovCloud.”


Is BOC Looking At The “Cloud?

My contacts at DOST – ASTI still won’t say if the Bureau of Customs is among the government agencies which expressed interest in GovCloud.


However, I will not be surprised if BOC is already starting to look into cloud computing technology for some ICT projects.  The Webb Fontaine Group and Crown Agents – two of the technology providers of customs administration and single window system to Philippine customs – have mentioned cloud-based capabilities in their latest technology offerings. They have also been active participants to recent World Customs Organization events and conferences that have focused on the latest technologies for customs connectivity, including cloud computing.


Leo V. Morada is a domain expert on IT applications in Philippine port operations with 25 years’ senior IT management experience implementing technology solutions in port operations, electronic transactions with customs and port authorities, and air/sea port community system applications.  He is CEO of Cargo Data Exchange Center, Inc, a customs-accredited value-added service provider.  He may be contacted at lmorada3f1@yahoo.com.

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