Gov’t units told: Collect only vital info when giving out aid, relief packs

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While it supports efforts by the national government to provide assistance to the public, the National Privacy Commission (NPC) has reminded government offices, including local government units, to gather fewer data from recipients of financial aid and relief packages.

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NPC chair Raymund Liboro in a statement on Saturday, April 4, said government instrumentalities should collect only necessary personal details such as those required according to usual accounting, auditing, and budgeting rules and regulations when disbursing public funds.

“Avoid burdening recipients with personal data requirements that are beyond the minimum necessary, which would only impede the speedy flow of aid distribution in this time of urgency,” Liboro said.

The NPC chief added that all collected personal data should be safeguarded to prevent any unauthorized access and use. “Appropriate retention and disposal policies should also be in place. Collect to meet present objectives and discard any notion of possible future use of the data,” he stressed.

On the part of the employers, Liboro said the need to obtain consent from concerned affected workers is not required under the present emergency when submitting requirements to government regulatory agencies mandated to distribute aid to these workers.

“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,” he added.

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