Mandatory disclosure of COVID-19 patients’ info only to DOH, not to public — IATF

Marje Pelayo   •   April 13, 2020   •   1064

MANILA, Philippines — The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has ordered the mandatory disclosure of information of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients.

“Para po matulungan ang contact-tracing efforts ng ating pamahalaan, mandatory o required na po ang paglalahad ng personal na impormasyon pagdating sa ating mga Covid-19 cases,” said Cabinet Secretary and IATF-EID Spokesperson Karlo Nograles.

The Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) will spearhead the government’s contact-tracing efforts on individuals who had close contacts with COVID-19 patients and together with the Department of Health will enter into a data sharing agreement with other government agencies and local government units (LGUs) for that matter.

Nograles, however, clarified in a separate briefing that the order is limited between agencies only, and does not require the patient to disclose his or her information to the public.

This was in response to claims that the mandatory disclosure of personal information may breach the Data Privacy Act.

“We’re not telling the patients to disclose to the public. We are telling the patients to disclose to the DOH all accurate and honest information,” Nograles said during a virtual presser on Monday (April 13).

“DOH ang siyang repository at safekeeper ng information but DOH, in the context of contact tracing may ask LGUs and law enforcement agencies to help in contact tracing. To do that, DOH must necessarily share the information with these enforcers, but all mindful of the provisions under the Data Privacy Act,” he explained.

Nograles said the DOH will formulate the guidelines on the data disclosure of personal information of COVID-19 patients which they expect to help in the conduct of the contact tracing efforts of the government as part of containment measures against COVID-19. MNP (with inputs from Rosalie Coz)

Right to data privacy not an excuse to evade legal proceedings – NPC

Robie de Guzman   •   October 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The National Privacy Commission (NPC) on Thursday reiterated that a person’s right to data privacy should not be used as an excuse to evade legal investigations.

“We would like to reiterate that the Data Privacy Act of 2012 (DPA) does not prohibit the disclosure of personal or sensitive personal information (collectively, personal data) when necessary for purposes of complying with validly issued subpoenas by government investigating bodies,” NPC Commissioner Raymund Liboro said in a statement.

“Data privacy rights should not be cited as an excuse to evade legal proceedings,” he added.

Liboro issued the statement after the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee cited in contempt and ordered the detention of Pharmally’s president Twinkle Dargani, and corporate secretary Mohit Dargani when they refused to submit documents subpoenaed by the panel.

The Dargani siblings have been resisting Senate orders to submit several source documents related to the contracts it made with the government on pandemic supplies, citing advice from legal counsel.

“While we advocate for the protection of the right to data privacy of data subjects, there are provisions in the law that recognizes the processing of personal information when necessary for compliance with a legal obligation or to fulfill functions of public authorities,” Liboro said.

“On the other hand, sensitive personal information may also be processed when provided for by existing laws and regulations, or necessary for establishment, exercise, or defense of legal claims, among others,” he added.

The Pharmally Pharmaceutical company has been under scrutiny for its allegedly questionable deals with the government for the purchase of face masks and face shields.

 

Ospital ng Imus declares full bed capacity

Marje Pelayo   •   August 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Ospital ng Imus (ONI) has declared full bed capacity of its emergency room and ward for suspect, probable and confirmed cases of COVID-19.

In the event a patient in such cases is brought to their hospital, the management said they can only check the patient inside his or her vehicle or outside the ER.

The Ospital ng Imus is a three-storey level 1 hospital with 130-bed capacity.

It is the first public hospital in the 1st District of Imus City in Cavite.

Capitol Medical Center in QC announces full bed capacity

Marje Pelayo   •   August 11, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Capitol Medical Center in Quezon City announced that it has reached full bed capacity for COVID-19 patients.

In an advisory released Tuesday (August 10), the facility said its emergency room , ICU and wards intended for COVID-19 patients are already full, thus it encourages patients to coordinate with the One Hospital Command Center for alternative health facilities.

The Capitol Med, however, will remain open for non-COVID patients.

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