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DSWD explores business continuity, recovery for ICT operations during disasters

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Asst. Secretary and Chief Information Officer (CIO) Julius Gorospe, along with Information and Communication Technology Management Service (ICTMS) Director Christian Joseph Regunay, leads the Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Planning workshop that will help strengthen the agency’s digital capabilities during natural and man-made disaster.

Recognizing the critical role of uninterrupted Information and Communication Technology (ICT) operations in times of disasters, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has started strengthening its digital capabilities through a workshop focusing on Disaster Recovery (DR) and Business Continuity Planning (BCP) held on December 6 to 7 in Angeles City, Pampanga.

DSWD Asst. Secretary Julius Gorospe, who is also the agency’s Chief Information Officer, explained that the initiative marked a significant move by the Department to ensure that its services to the public remain consistent and uninterrupted during and after disruptive events such as calamities and disasters.

“Our digital tools are more than just technology, they are vital in reaching out to and supporting our most vulnerable communities, especially in times of crisis,” Asst. Sec. Gorospe pointed out.

The chief information officer emphasized in his message that the cybersecurity and network infrastructure workshop is aligned to the agency’s disaster recovery and business continuity plans with its broader digital transformation goals as envisioned by DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian.

Director Christian Joseph M. Regunay of the Information and Communication Technology Management Service (ICTMS) noted that the initiative will ensure that critical services, such as disaster relief and food assistance, are not disrupted during disasters.

“Given our country’s susceptibility to natural disasters, preparing a robust DR and BCP strategies is essential. This workshop lays a solid foundation for a resilient DSWD, equipping us to handle various ICT risks, from cyber threats to natural disasters and other technical challenges,” Director Regunay said.

The workshop, which was initiated by the ICT Team of the DSWD Field Office Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) and hosted by DSWD Field Office-3 (Central Luzon), was attended by ICT practitioners and leaders from the various field offices of the agency.

Then DSWD CAR Regional Director Leo Quintilla and DSWD Central Luzon Regional Director Venus Rebuldela championed the workshop which served as an investment in enhancing the trust and confidence of the stakeholders and ensuring uninterrupted service delivery.

“Welcoming this pivotal workshop to Pampanga is a clear sign of our united commitment to strengthen the DSWD’s digital infrastructure, ensuring that our services are always reliable, no matter the situation is,” Regional Director Rebuldela said.

Director Quintilla, for his part, underscored the importance of working together proactively during times of disaster.

“This workshop represents a significant step towards a digitally resilient DSWD, always ready to serve our beneficiaries without interruption,” Director Quintilla said.

Asst. Sec. Gorospe reiterated that the initiative underscored the necessity for a comprehensive BCP to keep the DSWD’s crucial services running during disruptions and a well-crafted DR plan to restore IT systems and data quickly.

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