Official Gazette quietly resumes website ops after weeks-long downtime

February 10, 2023 - 1:23 PM
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Screengrab of the Official Gazette website as of Feb. 10, 2023 (Screengrab by Interaksyon from www.officialgazette.gov.ph)

(Updated; Feb. 11, 11:20 a.m.)  The website of the Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines had been inaccessible for almost a month.

This was what some Filipinos observed days before the public journal of the Philippine government resumed its operations online on Wednesday.

Kristoffer Pasion, a senior history researcher at a government office, found the Official Gazette’s website inaccessible on February 8.

“Just so everyone knows, the Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines website has been down for around 2-3 [two to three] weeks now. Just so you know,” he tweeted before.

The website resumed its operations around an hour after he shared his observation.

The Official Gazette is running as of writing, but there are no acknowledgments or announcements addressing the reason behind the alleged downtime.

The website and its official Facebook and Twitter accounts also did not post any indication that it has been restored after the reported weeks-long inaccessibility.

Its Twitter account, in particular, has not been posting updates for over three years already. Its last post was on Sept. 20, 2016, during former president Rodrigo Duterte’s administration.

The Official Gazette’s website encountered a similar issue in 2018.

At that time, the Department of Information and Communications Technology said that government websites, including the public journal, were inaccessible due to a hardware failure in one of its Government Web Hosting Service storage systems.

The Official Gazette’s website is the online version of the print edition of the public journal of the same name created by decree of Act No. 453 and Commonwealth Act No. 638.

It contains copies of presidential decrees, legislative acts, executive and administrative orders and proclamations and other issuances like documents related to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

The public journal also contains old and current copies of the Philippine Constitution, considered the highest law of the land.

Other Filipinos similarly noticed the website’s previous inaccessibility, mentioning their need to use the Official Gazette’s website for research purposes.

“True!! Been trying to get some historical content pero down. Ma-access mo [siya] ‘pag nag-VPN [a]ko, which is weird!!” a Twitter user commented on Pasion’s post before. “VPN” is short for “Virtual Private Network.”

“Not just 2-3 weeks, it has been gone for like, 2 months now, lol,” another online user tweeted.

“Yes, I’ve been trying to open it for our case study and had to find other ways to have a copy of the 1987 Constitution,” wrote another Pinoy on Twitter.

“Minsan accessible, minsan hindi. Unstable ang site. Medyo sad kasi need for academic purposes. Medyo abangers and need na peg for this,” a Twitter user commented.

This was not the first time a major government website has encountered issues or downtimes during the current administration.

Last May, just days after the 2022 national elections, the website repository of the Presidential Museum and Library became inaccessible.

The institution is responsible for preserving, managing and promoting the heritage of the Philippine presidency.

The incident sparked concerns among some Filipinos who feared it might be a case of “historical revisionism” amid the then-looming presidency of Ferdinand Marcos Jr, son of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr who declared Martial Law.

The museum, later on, said that it was taking “measures to update the content” and “improve its security features.”

“Rest assured that the contents of the said website have not been compromised and will be made available to the public at the soonest possible time,” it said before.

As of writing, the museum’s website continues to be down on Chrome and Firefox browsers, as well as on mobile.

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A screengrab of the Presidential Museum and Library’s website as of Feb. 10, 2023 (Screengrab by Interaksyon from www.malacanang.gov.ph)
A screengrab of the Presidential Museum and Library’s website as of Feb. 10, 2023 (Screengrab by Interaksyon from www.malacanang.gov.ph)
presidential-museum-website-mobile-feb-2023
A screengrab of the Presidential Museum and Library’s website from mobile as of Feb. 10, 2023 (Screengrab by Interaksyon from www.malacanang.gov.ph)

Its Facebook and Twitter pages, however, continue to be updated, although they do not display the website link of the museum on its respective account information.

READ: Alarms raised: Why Presidential Museum and Library site is inaccessible

Other major government websites such as the Office of the President, Office of the Vice President and the Presidential Communications Office remain operational.