No need to suspend Data Privacy Act to improve contact tracing — Guevarra

Published March 30, 2021, 10:23 AM

by Jeffrey Damicog

There is no need to suspend the enforcement of the Data Privacy Act to improve the contact tracing of persons who may have been exposed to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), said Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra said on Tuesday, March 30.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra (TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO /MANILA BULLETIN)
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra
(TOTO LOZANO / PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

“The solution is not to suspend the Data Privacy Act, but to make the system of contact tracing more thorough, efficient, and far-reaching,” Guevarra stressed.

He reacted to calls aired by some groups that Republic Act No. 10173,  the Data Privacy Act of 2012, should be suspended amidst the alarming rise of COVID-19 cases in the country.

He pointed out that the suspension of the law is not as easy as these groups think.

“The Data Privacy Act is legally in effect and its implementation may not be suspended unless authorized by congressional action,” he explained.

“In any event, available data from health authorities may be utilized for contact tracing without compromising the privacy of individuals,” he said.

Due to the rise of COVID-19 cases, the government has placed the National Capital Region (NCR) and the nearby provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) from March 29 to April 4.

The government has also placed Santiago City and Quirino province under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) from April 1 to April 30 and from April 1 to April 15, respectively.

Those under general community quarantine (GCQ) until April 30 are the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Batangas, Tacloban City, Iligan City, Davao City, and Lanao del Sur.

 All other areas in the country are under the modified GCQ (MGCQ) from April 1 to April 30.

 
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