NPC: Gov't agencies must collect 'only necessary data' for relief operations

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The National Privacy Commission (NPC) on Saturday, April 4, reminded government agencies to collect only the necessary data of target beneficiaries in relief efforts during the coronavirus pandemic.

The distribution of the government's P200-billion social amelioration program fund will entail the collection of data of millions of Filipinos to streamline the list and target the most in need. 

"Collect only necessary personal details, such as those required according to usual accounting, auditing, and budgeting rules and regulations when disbursing public funds, as well as other applicable laws and regulations," NPC Commissioner Raymund Liboro said in a statement on Saturday.

According to the NPC, employers are not required to obtain consent from their employees when sharing data with the government for the relief program.

"It is during these trying times that the data protection officers of companies are needed to provide timely and sensible advice to their management, considering all attendant circumstances and mindful of the rights and interests of the affected workers," said Liboro.

He added that agencies must make sure the data is protected, and will be retained in government possession for only as long as necessary, and that policies on the disposal of the data should be in place.

"Collect to meet present objectives and discard any notion of possible future use of the data," said Liboro. –

Editor's Note: We earlier reported that employers needed to get consent from their employees when sharing data with the government. This has been corrected.