Public interest or right to privacy? NPC tackles release of officials' health info

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 11 2020 10:38 AM

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MANILA - Public interest and individual rights should be balanced in releasing health information of public servants, the National Privacy Commission said Tuesday.

NPC commissioner Raymund Liboro made the remark following the leak of a medical certificate of PhilHealth president and CEO Ricardo Morales that states he was undergoing chemotherapy for lymphoma.

"Binabalanse po 'yan in which case sa mga situation titingnan po natin kung merong justifiable public interest para malaman o mailabas ang ilang personal data," he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.

(It should be balanced and we should look at whether there is justifiable public interest to know or release personal data.)

"Kung ikaw ho ay nabalita, nailagay sa public consciousness at 'yun hong mga detalye na susunod na ilalabas ay may public interest na tungkol dun sa mga detalye tungkol sa iyo."

(If you have been on the news and placed on public consciousness, details about you that would follow will have public interest.)

Public servants' expectations of privacy should be according to their position, he added.

"In varying situations, we just have to balance 'yung right of people to know and then kung merong individual privacy involved, tingnan din natin ang dapat expectation of privacy," Liboro said.

(In varying situations, we just have to balance the people's right to know and then if there's individual privacy involved, they should consider their expectation of privacy.)

The Data Privacy Act also provides protection for journalism resources but responsible journalism should also be observed, he added.