Engaging discussions: Data Privacy Act IRR, Public Consultation in CEBU

Cebu stakeholders convened last July 28, 2016 at the Bantayan Hall, Bayfront Hotel in Cebu City to take part in the Public Consultation on the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of RA 10173 otherwise known as the Data Privacy Act of 2012.

The consultation was hosted by the National Privacy Commission (NPC) and Foundation for Media Alternatives (FMA), being the final one, after following the series of consultations held at UP Diliman and Ateneo de Davao University last July 13 and 14, 2016.

Participants were mostly key people from the private sector including telecommunications companies Globe, Smart and private companies TRUSTe, Means Data Systems, HealthInformatics, Inc. and other stakeholders from the government sector.


Cebu Consultation Data Privacy Act

With Atty. Francis Acero of Democracy.net.ph, Mr. Al Alegre, FMA Executive Director and Hon. Dondi Mapa, NPC Deputy Commissioner.


Key persons from the NPC facilitated the consultation including Hon. Dondi Mapa, NPC Deputy Commissioner, Mr. Al Alegre, FMA Executive Director, and Atty. Francis Acero of Democracy.net.ph.

The first half of the session included an introduction to privacy rights and data protection and a review of the Data Privacy Act of 2012 and the Drafted IRR. You may access the drafted IRR here.


Forums and discussions

The NPC has conducted these nationwide public consultations in the goal of improving and addressing concerns with the IRR and soliciting ideas from general public on the dissemination and implementation of the said Act.

To name a few, here are some suggestions elicited from the participants on how NPC could strengthen awareness and implementation of the act:

  • Conducting regional forums involving key persons both from the public and private sectors
  • Holding institutional campaigns for info dissemination on the Act and IRR, involving also the youth and using the mother tongue of respective localities for better understanding of the act
  • Social media policies for institutions including the healthcare sector
  • Checklists for institutions for orientation of employees and clients for adherence to the act
  • Incentives for compliance of institutions to the act
  • Guidelines and standards on data retention and disposal/ standarization of consents across government institutions.


In the words of Hon. Mapa,

Data is the oil of the 21st century. We need a data-driven economy where innovation can flourish.”

With this being the final public consultation, NPC would finalize the IRR and soon formally issue its release.

DPA’s impact on current issues

The recent COMELEC breach, perhaps being the largest data breach in the world to date, accounted to around 55 million voter records leaked. In response to this incident, NPC will soon release a Data Breach Ruling.

Concepts of transparency and proportionality were also discussed in the context of data privacy, along with data sharing and data breach. Soon, NPC will also be releasing a circular (procedure) on Data Sharing agreements between parties.

Privacy has become the proxy for trust.” We must first trust these technologies. – Hon. Dondi Mapa, NPC Deputy Commissioner

On Freedom of Information and Data Privacy

Recently, President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Executive Order (EO) on Freedom of Information (FOI) and commonly, arguments between the two often comes into play. As what Mr. Alegre clarified, the Data Privacy Act (DPA) harmonizes with the FOI and vice versa. FOI focuses on data open for public consumption while DPA refers to personal data. Certain situations would be weighed whether in favor of data protection or disclosure.

Parts of the act would also clarify these pointing out to the non-applicability of DPA to those working in government offices, also including scientific and statistical purposes. Read the drafted IRR to know the complete details of the act.

Gaps and improvements

These public consultations have helped in generating creative solutions that would prove to be useful for effective implementation soon as the IRR is issued.

If you may have suggestions or comments on the IRR (case in points on data disposal strategies), kindly email info@privacy.gov.ph.

For updates, follow the National Privacy Commission on Facebook. #privacyph


Cebu Consultation Data Privacy Act

The participants and organizers of the Cebu Public Consultation on the Data Privacy Act IRR.