BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on third and final reading a proposed ordinance declaring the last week of May of every year as the celebration of the National Data Privacy Awareness Week in the city.
The ordinance authored by Councilors Arthur Alad-iw and Faustino A. Olowan stated the local government institutionalizes the celebration of the National Data Privacy Awareness Week every last week of May in the city and makes it a regular activity of the city every year thereafter.
The ordinance stipulated the City Mayor will ensure its annual observance in the city with various activities by the local government in relation to National Data Privacy Awareness among concerned stakeholders.
The ordinance added that the amount necessary for the implementation of the measure shall be allocated in the annual budget of the local government to be disbursed pursuant to existing accounting and auditing rules and regulations.
The Philippines adopted generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land and that the government is duty-bound to observe the right to privacy as enshrined in such international legal instruments as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Earlier, the Philippines ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights making the country mandated to adhere to the said international treaty.
The 1987 Constitution guarantees the protection of individuals against unreasonable searches and seizures, and renders inviolable the privacy of communication and correspondence.
The ordinance noted that one of the policies of the State as enshrined in the fundamental law of the land is to put premium on the dignity of every person and guaranteeing full respect for human rights.
Republic Act No. 10173 or the Data Privacy Act of 2012 and its implementing rules and regulations mandated the government to protect privacy rights while ensuring a free flow of information to promote innovation and growth.
On July 3, 2018, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Proclamation No. 527 declaring every last week of May every year as National Data Privacy Awareness Week where he underscored the need to inform and educate the public about data privacy, data protection and fair information rights and responsibilities as part of reinforcing the efforts of the National Privacy Commission in protecting personal data and ensuring the Philippines’ compliance to international standards for data protection.
The ordinance claimed that the local government units and the private sector have been encouraged to actively participate various activities lined up for the said celebration which could be done through inter-agency undertakings once the declaration has been institutionalized by the local governments.
By Dexter A. See