OWWA RWO IX receives briefing on security awareness  

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) in Region IX welcomed a team from the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) for an orientation on the importance of practicing security awareness in its organization and operation.  

The NICA seminar, held on November 19, 2019, at OWWA RWO 9's main office in Canelar, Zamboanga City, complies with the directive of its parent agency, the Office of the President, to conduct security awareness seminars in all government agencies. 

In attendance were the whole OWWA Region IX personnel headed by Officer-in-Charge Priscilla Flores, administrative, finance, and welfare officers, guards and utility workers. 

As a prelude to the intricacies of security awareness, NICA case officer Jose Madriaga Jr. commenced the talk with the NICA motto, "Angkaalaman ay kaligtasan". He said safeguarding an organization in whatever forms, be it a government or private institution, would result in safety, stability, and "we could all work peacefully."

NICA presenters discussed how security awareness is applied in the organization’s personnel, the physical structure of the office, documents, and cyberspace.

Of the four, NICA referred to personnel security as the top concern.  Invoking Executive Order 608, s 2007, or the issuance of Interim Security Clearance for Government Personnel, Madriaga said the choice of employees or the workforce of the organization should be handled meticulously. He said the personnel is considered the 'weakest link', that to be entrusted with access to government documents and operations, they may implicate the other three areas of government’s physical, document and, cybersecurity depending on their vulnerability, character, background, and affiliation. NICA suggests that a deeper probing on the person's background, education, employment history, and current and past associations be conducted during the application process to ensure that he or she would work for the best interest of the government agency and its stakeholders.

In protecting government documents, NICA said the organization must classify the information or content whether these are top secret, secret, confidential or restricted. As a safe rule, for example, all blank template forms are considered safe for general view. But once information has been given in the template forms, there must be a policy whether the document is confidential or restricted and only for the consumption of authorized personnel. Citing OWWA’s nature of service, NICA said the information of its member-OFWs may be classified as confidential or restricted, as well as the access to the members’ information through its database programs.

Madriaga said security awareness should be a rudimentary concern in government agencies as this would impact the quality of public service and governance they render to the stakeholders.