Human Rights Council: 43rd Regular Session

Salle XX, Palais des Nations

05 March 2020

Agenda Item 3: Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Privacy


Speaking time: 1 min. 30 sec.

Thank you, Mister Vice-President.

            The Philippines thanks the Special Rapporteur for his comprehensive report on privacy protection across a wide range of sectors.

The Philppines‘ Data Privacy Act of 2012 is a law to address 21st century crimes and concerns. It protects the privacy of individuals, regulates management of personal data, and ensures compliance with international standards through the independent National Privacy Commission. It empowers individuals to assert their rights to access, to damages, to erasure or blocking, to data portability, to be informed, to rectify, and to file a complaint.

            The government fully upholds the right to privacy while at the same time balances this with upholding the public’s right to access information. President Duterte’s Executive Order no. 2 on the Freedom of Information Program mandates public disclosure of all government records involving public interest toward ensuring an open, transparent, and accountable governance that empowers informed citizen participation.

Sharing of data especially by the independent national human rights institution on its case files and investigations with the accountable government institutions is absolutely essential in ensuring proper action to address allegations of violations against defenders. It is regrettable that privacy in many instances has been used to justify non-cooperation and non-sharing of data, resulting in the undermining of domestic accountability mechanisms

            Prof. Cannataci, your report tackled the need to protect the privacy and data of those defending human rights. Could you cite good practices in ensuring that data privacy protection does not impinge on accountability process that strives for judicial remedies for violations against defenders?

Thank you, Mister Vice-President. END.