National Privacy Commission (NPC) deputy commissioner John Henry Naga has been appointed as the new chair of the data privacy agency while Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) undersecretary Emmanuel “Manny” Caintic has been designated as the acting secretary at the ICT agency, a highly-placed source told Newsbytes.PH.
The NPC confirmed in a statement Malacanang’s appointment of Naga, which is effective December 14, 2021.
Naga, who is also a former undersecretary at the DICT, will replace outgoing NPC commissioner Raymond Liboro. Liboro was not appointed for a second term by Malacanang when his first term ended in March 2019, but was allowed to stay in a hold-over capacity for almost the entirety of a de facto second term. Under the Data Privacy Act, the NPC commissioner and his two deputy commissioners shall serve for a term of three years and may be reappointed once.
In a statement, Liboro said he is “passing the baton to capable hands.” “I have great confidence that the new Privacy Commissioner will further cement the National Privacy Commission as a body committed to advancing data privacy and protection,” Liboro said.
Liboro was named the country’s first Privacy Commissioner in March 2016, getting the post just before the ban on government appointments took effect before that year’s national elections. He then led the NPC in data protection policy development by issuing the Data Privacy Act’s Implementing Rules and Regulations and essential policy circulars and advisories.
Naga is a lawyer who belongs to a political clan in Masbate. He was first appointed as DICT assistant secretary in 2016 before being promoted as undersecretary in June 2018. Early in his career, he served as an associate lawyer of the Belo Gozon Elma Parel Asuncion & Lucila law firm and was provincial board member of Masbate.
“As I take this new role as Privacy Commissioner, my focus is to ensure the efficient and effective enforcement of the law and the protection of data subjects’ rights and interests,” said Naga in a statement. “Compliance is not just for the organization. It is also for the people, for our country. To protect one another through compliance is the first step to national stability and security.”
NPC executive director Ivin Ronald Alzona, also a lawyer, will fill up the position of deputy commissioner formerly occupied by Naga. Alzona was also a former assistant secretary at the DICT before his stint at the NPC.
Both Naga and Alzona obtained their law degrees from San Beda University, the alma mater of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte.
Caintic, meanwhile, will take charge of the DICT in an acting capacity after his former boss, Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan, left his post in an attempt to reclaim his seat at the Senate.
Caintic is a tech executive who has a degree in physics with computer engineering from the Ateneo de Manila University. He served as IT consultant to the USAID prior to his latest appointment and also worked as chief technology officer of the Philippine Stock Exchange in 2015.