Muntinlupa expands scope of personal information disclosure of COVID-19 cases

Published April 27, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Jonathan Hicap

Muntinlupa city government has expanded the list of personal information that will be gathered from COVID-19 cases to protect public safety and health.

Local mass testing for COVID-19 in Muntinlupa. (Photo courtesy of Muntinlupa PIO)
Local mass testing for COVID-19 in Muntinlupa. (Photo courtesy of Muntinlupa PIO)

Ordinance 2020-094, passed by the City Council and signed by Mayor Jaime Fresnedi, amended the COVID-19 Public Health Information ordinance, which aims to promote transparency regarding cases in Muntinlupa but without violating data privacy of patients.

Under the new ordinance, disclosure of personal information of confirmed, probable, and suspect COVID-19 cases in the city shall include street name, gender, age, barangay address, building in case of condominium, travel history, frequented locations, time of manifestation of symptoms and start and end of symptoms, visited hospitals and private and public places, and status for purpose of contact tracing.

“However, the COVID-19 patient, person under monitoring (PUM) and person under investigstion (PUI) are encouraged to voluntarily have themselves identified for the purpose of providing them utmost protection from the city government of Muntinlupa and for the purpose of protecting public safety and public health,” the ordinance stated.

It also has a provision that city government “shall exercise care in ensuring that COVID-19 patients, person under monitoring (PUMs) and persons under investigation (PUIs) are not directly or indirectly identified by the public.”

The city’s Public Information Office is tasked to issue a regular medical bulletin to the public of positive cases per barangay.

Tez Navarro, city government spokesperson, said the City Health Office will be the central office that will manage the personal information of COVID-19 cases.

Muntinlupa city government earlier approved an ordinance imposing fines and imprisonment to COVID-19 patients who will deliberately withhold information and lie about relevant details including address, travel history, symptoms, and medical condition.

Patients are advised to truthfully accomplish information data forms, declarations, and other documents, and disclose relevant information that may be asked of them by health workers, hospital employees, medical officers, or quarantine officers.

Violators will be fined P5,000, ordered to do community service for 30 days, and imprisoned for up to nine months.

As of April 26, there are 132 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Muntinlupa, including 22 recovered cases and 19 deaths.