NPC unequipped to effectively launch data breach probe, protect Pinoys’ info – chief

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 19) — The country's privacy watchdog hopes to secure a ₱510 million budget for next year to beef up its system, with its top official admitting the agency does not have enough capacity to protect the public’s information and investigate data breach incidents.

“Right now, we don’t have the capacity to investigate deeply the potential breaches, we don’t have the equipment of the NBI, or let’s say the CIDG or the cybercrime of the Philippine National Police. So we always tap them if we do conduct an investigation,” said Commissioner John Henry Naga of the National Privacy Commission (NPC) on the Senate hearing for 2024 National Expenditure Program of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).

The NPC said that the budget would be able to transform the NPC into a digitally competitive regulation agency to address the rapidly changing privacy threats, risks, and harms in the country.

“We requested that, Madam Chair, to NEDA (National Economic and Development Authority), NEDA sees the potential of this program, considering that we are now transitioning to the digitized economy in which the new gold is the personal information of our citizens," Naga said.

Senator Grace Poe noted that the proposal was redundant and they could work with the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) or the other government agencies, but she nodded since the proposal was for a wish list.

On the other hand, Senator Loren Legarda clarified that only the NPC lacks the resources but the other agencies were equipped in maintaining data privacy protection.

"It’s just the agency that is seeking it but the PNP has the capability, because I would be so insecure if you’re saying that you’re the only one tasked to do that and you’re saying that you’re unequipped with resources and knowhow, so it’s your just commission…But the PNP is equipped, and you work with them," Legarda said.