By Kristel Satumbaga
National University Pep Squad coach Ghicka Bernabe is calling out on people to be more respectful and responsible in handling personal information for contact-tracing purposes during the coronavirus pandemic after experiencing an unsettling incident a few days ago.
Bernabe told the Manila Bulletin that an unidentified person got hold of her personal number on the same day that she gave out her information on public vehicles and establishments as protocols during quarantine.
“I give out my personal information in good faith to follow the protocols on contact-tracing and it’s unprofessional that people get this for personal use,” she said.
Bernabe said the caller addressed her casually with her full name, Ghereeka, and even offered her a ride home.
“Naging suspicious na ako kasi hindi naman ako tinatawag ng friends ko by my full name. And kung professional call man yun, he should have addressed me like, ‘Ms. Bernabe.’ Pero siya, casual na casual.”
Her instinct told her the caller might have gotten her number on the contact-tracing sheets she filled up on the same day.
Bernabe plans to go to the authorities to help with her investigation.
She knew the importance of giving out information for contact-tracing purposes, but questioned its safety.
She hoped public vehicles and establishments would be stricter in handling people’s personal information.
“Kasi nung nag-fill up ako ng info ko (for contact-tracing), isang page lang. Magkakasama na lahat ng info ng ibang tao. So madali talagang ma-take advantage,” she said.
“Kasi it could lead to stalking and scamming people, lalo na sa mga babae.”