No public disclosure of COVID-19 patients’ personal info, govt assures
MANILA, Philippines — The government assured on Monday there will be no public disclosure of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients’ personal information even as it enforces a mandatory declaration of personal data to augment its contact tracing efforts.
The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging and Infectious Disease earlier announced the mandatory disclosure of personal information relating to COVID-19 patients in a bid to ramp up contact tracing efforts.
IATF spokesman and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said patients will only disclose their personal information to the Department of Health (DOH) which will serve as the repository of their personal data.
“We’re not telling the patients to disclose to the public. We’re telling the patients to disclose to the DOH all accurate and honest information,” Nograles said in a virtual press briefing.
The Palace official, however, noted that the DOH may share the patients’ information with law enforcement agencies in the conduct of the contract tracing measures subject to the provisions of the Data Privacy Law.
“The DOH ang siyang repository and safekeeper ng information. But DOH in the context of contact tracing may ask LGUs, and law enforcement agencies to help in contact tracing. And to do that, DOH must necessarily share the info with these enforcers but mindful of the provisions of the Data Privacy Act,” Nograles explained.
In the same press briefing, Nograles likewise said that penalties await patients who will not disclose personal data or those who will provide false information, citing Republic Act 11332 or the “Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act”.
Nograles, however, did not qualify how much information or what kind of personal details the patients would be required to disclose to the DOH.
The Philippines as of Sunday confirmed 4,648 cases of the respiratory disease, with 297 deaths and 197 patients who recovered.
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