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Estonian expertise to be tapped in e-government, cybersecurity push

THE PHILIPPINES and Estonia have agreed to collaborate in digitization and e-governance projects, the Office of the President said in a statement.

During a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations-European Union Commemorative Summit in Brussels, President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. noted that Estonia “seemed to have managed the technologies so well” to resist cyber-attack or disruption.

“We are currently in the midst of our digitalization of government…. both the national and the local levels,” he said. “Since we are digitalizing… the issues of cybersecurity has come up, and we know the reputation of Estonia in terms of being able to resist the attacks that had been made to its digital systems.”

Estonia’s e-government set-up, known as e-Estonia, is considered one of the world’s most advanced, having transferred most citizen interactions with government to the online sphere.

Mr. Marcos said one possible drag on the Philippine digitalization effort is the potential for cyber-attack, which he hopes Estonia can assist with.

Estonia Prime Minister Kaja Kallas invited Mr. Marcos to visit Talinn to learn more about Estonia’s e-government set-up.

“Everything is connected… we have invested a lot in cybersecurity, of course,” she said. “99% of our e-governance services, or actually all the public services, are digital.”

“You don’t have like one big database, but you have very many small ones that are connected to each other, so if one of these is cyberattacked, it goes down, but all the others stay,” she added.

Information and Communications Technology Secretary Ivan John E. Uy, who was present at the meeting, said that the successful incorporation of technology will make government more efficient. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan