Press Release
March 8, 2012


Senator Edgardo J. Angara said that the Data Privacy Act seeks to establish a National Privacy Commission as the implementing arm to enforce the regulations proposed by the said bill.

Angara, Chair of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, underscored that the commission's far-reaching scope and jurisdiction will effectively be kept within limits because it has to adhere to stringent principles and standards that are denominated internationally like in APEC or in the EU.

"Generally, the commission will be mandated to enforce policies that balance the right of the private person to privacy with the need to speed up the utilization of the Internet," said Angara during interpellations on the bill. "With the law in place, we can facilitate e-government, e-commerce and many other modes of modern commerce and trade."

Authored and sponsored by Angara, the Data Privacy Act of 2012 (SB No. 2965) mandates public and privates entities to protect the integrity and confidentiality of personal data collected from their clients--a move that will increase the attractiveness of the Information Technology and Business Process Outsourcing (IT-BPO) industry in the country.

The bill stipulates that the commission will be led by a commissioner with two deputy commissioners, will be supported by a secretariat and will be allotted P20 million to fulfill its functions.

Amendments introduced by the former UP president place the commission under the pending Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), with the caveat that if the Data Privacy Act comes into law before a DICT is established, the commission will fall under the Office of the President.

"[The National Privacy Commission] will not have police or coercive powers--if they need coercive action, they have to go to the Department of Justice," stressed Angara, who is also Chair of the Congressional Commission on Science & Technology and Engineering.

"Aggrieved individuals can legitimately go to the commission and complain that their rights have been violated under this law. In that way, the commission will play a big part in the overall protective mantle that we want to extend over private individuals because as it is sensitive personal data is already out in the cloud."

The Data Privacy Act is pending upon Second Reading.

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