LGUs told: Practice 'transparency with responsibility' when posting SAP beneficiaries
Residents of Batasan Hills in Quezon City line up to receive their financial assistance from the government on the second day of distribution on April 8, 2021.
The STAR/Michael Varcas

LGUs told: Practice 'transparency with responsibility' when posting SAP beneficiaries

(Philstar.com) - April 8, 2021 - 3:24pm

MANILA, Philippines — The National Privacy Commission on Thursday urged local government authorities to be judicious when posting the identities of the financial beneficiaries of the social amelioration program on social media. 

"We understand that using social media platforms is a quick and accessible method to reach the public and uploading the list of SAP beneficiaries through these platforms may be considered an efficient way to exercise transparency in utilizing public fund," the commission wrote in a statement. 

"However, public disclosure of personal information should strictly adhere to the principle of proportionality. Local government units must determine the types of personal data that they will disclose, particularly when the original list of SAP beneficiaries contains sensitive personal information."

This comes after the Quezon City local government uploaded a searchable file of initial SAP beneficiaries on its website. 

The page, which is still live on the city government's website as of this post, includes beneficiaries from each barangay in the six districts of the city.

"Only the First Name, Middle name, Last name and barangay are available on the QC website," a representative of the city information office told reporters in Filipino in response to the NPC statement.

Some 22.9 million poor Filipinos making up 80% of the National Economic and Development Authority's estimated low-income population within the NCR+ bubble are set to receive aid from the government. 

Each resident will be receiving P1,000 in kind or cash, an amount progressive groups have said is grossly insufficient. 

"The Data Privacy Act does not prohibit LGUs from disclosing information which it deems essential for the public to know in the name of transparency. Nevertheless, LGUs should be mindful of its concomitant responsibilities as personal information controllers," the NPC said. 

Franco Luna 

Disclosure: Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte is a shareholder of Philstar Global Corp., which operates digital news outlet Philstar.com. This article was produced following editorial guidelines. 

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