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Frequently Asked Questions - GWHS

What is Administrative Order No. 39?

A.O. 39 was issued by President Benigno Aquino III on 12 July 2013, mandating government agencies to migrate to the Government Web Hosting Service (GWHS) of the Department of Science and Technology-Information and Communications Technology Office (DOST-ICT Office) for more efficient use of technology and greater protection against hacking and cyber attacks.

What agencies are covered under A.O. no. 39?

GWHS shall be mandatory for National Government Agencies (NGAs), Government Financial Institutions (GFIs), and Government-Owned or -Controlled Corporations (GOCCs), including inter-agency collaborations, programs and projects. Hosting of constitutional bodies, local government units (LGUs) and other autonomous branches of the government shall be encouraged but undertaken at the instance of the above-mentioned government entities.

What are the responsibilities of the DOST-ICT Office?

As stipulated in Section 2 of AO 39, the ICT Office “shall administer, operate and maintain the Government Website Hosting Service (GWHS), pursuant to the policies, rules and regulations set by the National Digital Service Coordinating Group (NDSCG), and shall ensure the efficiency, integrity and reliability of the GWHS, the websites and online services that the GWHS hosts.” Also, the ICT Office is tasked to “provide technical and capacity building assistance to hosted government agencies.”

What are the responsibilities of hosted agencies?

The responsibilities of hosted agencies are the following, as specified in Section 3 of AO 39:
“a) Produce and regularly update the contents of their websites, subject to the UWCP and its implementing rules;
“b) Develop online services offered through their websites, subject to prevailing policies, rules and regulations of the government; and
“c) Employ a webmaster duly designated by the Head of Agency.”

What is the composition of the National Digital Service Coordinating Group (NDSCG)? What are its responsibilities?

The composition and responsibilities of the NDSCG are not specified in the AO, except that it is tasked with the issuance of policies, rules and regulations. The NDSCG shall likewise control and supervise the implementation of the Uniform Website Content Policy (UWCP). There is a possibility of the issuance of another presidential document that will outline the NDSCG's specific responsibilities.

How will agencies that subscribe to private cloud companies deal with their contracts and renewal?

Contractual obligations shall be followed, but there will still be migration of the old website at least as backup. No contracts shall be abrogated.

What is the GWHS?

The GWHS is an initiative of the Philippine Government to provide greater security, reliable information, state of the art online services, efficient use of technology, and a robust online network by housing government websites under one hosting service.

The GWHS is one of the components of the Integrated Government Philippines (iGovPhil) Project, which aims to enhance the effectiveness, efficiency, and transparency of the government through the use of interactive, interconnected, and interoperable government applications.

What is the migration procedure to the GWHS of the DOST-ICT Office?

The migration procedure to the GWHS shall take into account the following:

  • Answers of the agency in the conducted online website assessment survey.
  • Submission of complete application requirements.
  • Compliance of the website to the Government Website Template Guidelines.
  • Security audits of websites not using the prescribed CMS/GWT.

Migration of websites will be done on a first-come-first-served basis.

You can check the diagram that illustrates the steps on how to migrate to the GWHS posted in here:

Aside from the web hosting service, what are the services being offered by the GWHS?

The GWHS also offers the domain name service (DNS) registration and DNS hosting.

What is the primary difference between the website under GWHS and the website outside the service?

GWHS websites are secure and maintained by the government through ICT Office. The websites, following the UWCP and Government Website Template (GWT), will also have a uniform appearance for a corporate government identity. The website content and online services offered, however, will still be under the agency's management and supervision. The ICT Office provides the backbone infrastructure for government websites, but will remain flexible and accommodate the content of each individual website.

Who will pay for the GWHS? Is it for free?

The ICT Office shall include in its annual appropriations the amounts necessary for the personnel services, maintenance and other operating expenses. The ICT Office may also charge fees from its subscribers for the use of its facilities and services on a cost recovery basis. The e-Government Fund may also be used, subject to existing laws, rules and regulations.

What is the core infrastructure of the GWHS?

The GWHS will be running on two data centers that have the following characteristics:

  • Redundant hardware with automatic failover
  • Multiple uplinks
  • Dual-powered equipment
  • Generator sets with uninterruptible power supply systems
  • Redundant data communications connections
  • Environmental controls, such as air conditioning, humidity controls, and fire suppression
  • Secure location, installed with biometrics and CCTV systems

One data center shall be located at the ICT Office facility and one will be in a commercial establishment. This commercial data center shall be operated and maintained solely by ICT Office.

What are the web hosting specifications of the GWHS?

Hosting of websites shall be done in two separate environments – Shared Web Hosting and Dedicated or Cloud-based Web Hosting.

Only external or publicly accessible sites or online applications shall be hosted on the GWHS. Internal information systems and applications shall be hosted in-house by the agency.

What is the shared web hosting environment?

In shared hosting, multiple websites of different agencies shall reside on a single web server and share a common pool of server resources.

Web servers on this shared hosting service shall be running on the LAMP stack platform.

Web masters shall be given an administrator account in the site management panel, where users can download pre-packaged distributions of the government web template.

Hosting on this environment shall be applicable only to:

  • Websites using the recommended content management systems (CMS)
  • Websites running on Apache, MySQL, and PHP

Web hosting specifications for shared hosting:

  • Domains hosted: 1
  • Disk Space: 10GB (minimum; can be increased on a per need basis)
  • Bandwidth: Unlimited
  • Web Mail: No
  • Language Support: PHP 5.4, no legacy support
  • Database Support: MariaDB/MySQL
  • No. of Databases:1
  • Access/Account in the site management panel: Yes
  • ssh Access: No
  • SFTP/FTP Access: No

For websites with online system or application, the system or application shall be hosted on a different environment.

What is dedicated or cloud-based hosting? And which websites will be hosted on this environment?

In a dedicated or cloud-based hosting, web masters will be given root access with full administrative access to the server.

Hosting on this environment shall be applicable only to:

  • Websites not using the standard CMS.
  • Websites not running on the Linux platform.
  • Websites with complex information systems requiring multi-tiered environment.

Does ICT Office allow server co-location?

Yes. Agencies that have their own servers have the option to co-locate at the data center of the ICT Office. The ICT Office shall only provide power, physical security, and network connectivity. Administration shall be done solely by the agency.

To ensure the security of the GWHS, co-located servers will run on a separate network. The ICT Office shall not be held accountable for security breaches on the co-located servers.

Only rack-mountable servers shall be accommodated.

Is there a Service Level Agreement (SLA) for GWHS?

A Service Level Agreement (SLA) has been drafted for the migrating agency. Included here will be the specific details of the hosting service needed by the agency and responsibilities of the migrating agency and the ICT Office.

Does the GWHS includes the email hosting?

Email hosting is not included in the GWHS. For the Government Wide eMail System (GovMail), please visit

What are the security specifications of the GWHS?

Agencies that want to know the security specifications of the GWHS can set a meeting with the GWHS Technical support team or email

What is a Government Website Template (GWT)?

The Government Web Template is an initiative of the Philippine Government to institutionalize a corporate online identity for all government websites through a standard design, navigation, and content. The National Government believes that government websites help improve the delivery of timely and needed information and services to its citizens.

What is a Content Management System (CMS)?

A content management system (CMS) is a software system designed for users with little knowledge on web programming languages to create and manage web content with relative ease.

 What are the prescribed CMSs for GWT?

The CMSs approved or prescribed by the ICT Office for use by government agencies in publishing, editing and modifying content, and for maintaining their websites under the GWHS, include the following:
• WordPress
• Joomla
• Drupal

Agencies with existing websites that are migrating to the GWHS are encouraged to use the mentioned open-source CMS. Agencies with no websites, on the other hand, are required to use the CMS mentioned above before migrating to the GWHS.

Where can I download the GWT?

Can we customized the GWT?

The only option that is allowed for web developer to customize the template is to override the content styling which can be done by creating a separate CSS file. The styling file can customize the content area of the website without doing any modification on the template's core files. Overriding some parts of the template, specifically the Top Menu bar, Masthead and Standard Footer, is strictly not allowed.

Any other modification on the Government Website Template may be considered non-compliance and will subject your website to undergo another round of security audit before it can be published. Support for the modified template will also be limited. Modify at your own risk.

Through this, we can maintain a standard look and feel of websites.