Customs, BFP cited in cloud technology summit
Marc Jayson Cayabyab (The Philippine Star) - November 22, 2019 - 12:00am

SINGAPORE – The Bureaus of Fire Protection (BFP) and Customs are among the Philippine government agencies recognized during the first public sector summit hosted by Amazon’s cloud service provider here. 

In a talk with members of the media, Vincent Quah, Amazon Web Service (AWS) regional head for Asia Pacific and Japan covering the Education, Research, Healthcare and Not-For-Profit sectors, cited the cloud services provided to the BFP and BOC for their efficient delivery of services.

To respond to emergency calls efficiently, the BFP developed an information database of 911 emergency responders on a geographic information system without crashing its system.

“During emergencies, the usage starts to spike up. When you have insufficient IT service, your service goes down and your citizens will not be able to access it,” Quah said.

Through cloud, which can be scaled up depending on the demand, “the amount of users gets scaled up to cope with this volume,” he added.

The BOC developed a manifest system using cloud from AWS that allows brokers, government employees and others to review and assess inbound goods 24 hours after their departure from the port of origin, streamlining clearance processes before goods arrive in the Philippines, according to Amazon.

This is part of the Customs bureau’s modernization efforts since the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act was passed in 2016.

“By digitizing customs processes and enabling payments and pre-clearances up to 35 days before imports arrive at a port, the new systems running on AWS will help the BOC reduce the incidence of corruption,” Amazon said.

Teresa Carlson, Worldwide Public Sector vice president for Amazon, cited the Philippines among countries with a cloud-first policy that is complemented with a data privacy act.

The Philippines’ data privacy law was passed in 2012.

“The world has changed in the last 10 years. We have Australia, Bahrain, Brazil, Colombia, India, Japan, Singapore, United Kingdom and the Philippines having cloud-first policies, totally changing their IT technology,” Carlson said during the summit.

Carlson said countries such as Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines complement their cloud-first policies with cybersecurity through data privacy laws.

Cloud computing is defined by Amazon as an “on-demand delivery of compute power, database, storage, applications and other IT resources on the internet with pay-as-you-go pricing.”

Disputing misconceptions that cloud storage is prone to hacking, Carlson said their clients rely on cloud not only for security but also for the adaptability to expand depending on the demand.

AMAZON WEB SERVICE VINCENT QUAH
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