DICT and NPC Unite to Launch Innovative Privacy Complaint Hotline Project

In a historic milestone for digital security and privacy in the Philippines, the National Privacy Commission (NPC) and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) have officially sealed their commitment through a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signing ceremony held on October 11, 2023, at the National Cybercrime Hub, Taguig City. Privacy Commissioner Atty. John Henry D. Naga and DICT Secretary Atty. Ivan John E. Uy presided over the ceremony.

This groundbreaking collaboration represents a pivotal step towards ensuring the safeguarding of the digital security and privacy of every Filipino. The centerpiece of this partnership is the implementation of the Digital Security and Privacy Quick Response (DSPQR) Project, an innovative complaints-handling system designed to swiftly address privacy violations and concerns, securing the fundamental right to privacy for all citizens. It will be integrated into the eGov application under the Government Digital Transformation Bureau.

The intersecting mandates of the NPC and DICT on cybersecurity and data privacy underscore the significance of this partnership. The NPC, as the Philippines' independent body responsible for data privacy, is dedicated to ensuring the responsible processing of personal data and safeguarding the fundamental right to privacy. On the other hand, DICT, as the government's principal entity for information and communications technology, plays a crucial role in enhancing the country's digital security infrastructure.

In line with President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.'s visionary stance on digitalization and the digital transformation of the nation, this partnership signifies a significant leap forward in achieving the government's digitalization goals. It reflects the government's commitment to provide cutting-edge services while protecting the digital rights and privacy of every Filipino.

Under the MOA, DICT will allocate resources for the DSPQR Project and establish a framework for regular reporting by NPC. In return, NPC will actively engage as an implementing unit of the DICT, focusing on raising awareness, educating individuals and organizations about the DSPQR Project, and highlighting its effectiveness in addressing privacy issues and cybersecurity threats.

Furthermore, NPC will play a vital role in triaging cases involving cybersecurity threats, consumer-related concerns, and data privacy issues monitored and reported through the Consumer Complaint Center, Contact Center ng Bayan, National Computer Emergency Response Team, and the NPC.

In the MOA, it is acknowledged that protecting the rights to privacy and data protection, especially in the digital age, is a formidable challenge, not only for Filipinos but also for foreigners whose personal data is processed in the Philippines. Privacy Commissioner Naga expressed optimism about this collaboration's ability to meet this mandate, stating, "The MOA between NPC and DICT is a significant step towards ensuring the digital security and privacy of our fellow Filipinos. The Digital Security and Privacy Quick Response Project will empower us to swiftly address privacy concerns and violations, ultimately upholding every
citizen's right to privacy in this digital age."

In the spirit of this vision, DICT Secretary Uy emphasized, "During this Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the DICT and NPC share a common goal: to protect the fundamental right to privacy while strengthening our resilience against the ever-evolving landscape of cyber threats. We also encourage our citizens to be vigilant and proactive in safeguarding their digital well-being. Report any privacy concerns or incidents promptly, as your active role is essential to our collective effort to ensure a safer and more secure online environment for every Filipino."

The NPC and DICT are committed to this transformative initiative, driven by a shared vision to create a safer and more secure digital environment for all Filipinos. The DSPQR Project will be operational on October 25, 2023.

The MOA signing was also attended by Deputy Privacy Commissioner Atty. Nerissa N. De Jesus and Privacy Executive Director Atty. Ivin Ronald D.M. Alzona.