LGUs told to be careful when posting personal info of cash aid beneficiaries online

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 8) - The National Privacy Commission on Thursday reminded local government units to be careful when posting personal data of cash aid beneficiaries online.

"We understand that using social media platforms is a quick and accessible method to reach the public and uploading the list of SAP beneficiaries through these platforms may be considered an efficient way to exercise transparency in utilizing public fund," the NPC said in a statement.

The commission gave the reminder after the Department of the Interior and Local Government required LGUs to post on social media or in a website the names of the Social Amelioration Program beneficiaries before the distribution of pandemic assistance.

"Local Government Units (LGUs) must determine the types of personal data that they will disclose, particularly when the original list of SAP beneficiaries contains sensitive personal information," the NPC said.

"The Data Privacy Act does not prohibit LGUs to disclose information which it deems essential for the public to know in the name of transparency," it added.

The DILG and the Department of Social Welfare and Development recently issued the guidelines for the distribution of SAP assistance to families affected by the enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Laguna, Cavite, and Rizal. Qualified residents may receive cash or in-kind assistance of ₱1,000 each or up to a maximum of ₱4,000 for a family.

Some LGUs in Metro Manila have already started to distribute the pandemic assistance this week as the ECQ was extended until April 11.