MANILA–The National Privacy Commission (NPC) released its recommendations on handling requests for information on government personnel.
To serve as guidance to all government agencies, the NPC listed out considerations when handling requests for personal data sheets (PDS). These included the following: if the information requested is a matter of public concern; if the requesting party has declared and specified the purpose of his/her request; if the declared and specified purpose is not contrary to law, morals, and public policy; and, the personal data requested is necessary to the declared, specified, and legitimate purpose.
Upon the signing of Executive Order (EO) No. 2 s. 2016 operationalizing the freedom of information (FOI) program in the Executive Branch, the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) has been in constant coordination with the NPC in matters regarding protection of privacy.
The advisory laid out the policy to harmonize the right to information and the right to privacy of communication. It provided a discussion on how EO No. 2 complemented and reinforced the Data Privacy Act of 2012.
As per the advisory, disclosure of personal data shall only be allowed when permitted by existing laws and only those data that relate to the position or function of an individual working for the government. Data which contains sensitive personal information may be redacted by government agencies. In all cases, the NPC advised that the rights of the data subject should be respected, including the right to be informed and notified about the processing of his/her personal data.
The NPC is an independent body mandated to administer and implement the Data Privacy Act of 2012.