Palace appoints new PH privacy commissioner

Malacañang has appointed Atty. John Henry Du Naga as the new privacy commissioner of the National Privacy Commission (NPC), effective December 14, 2021, for a term of three years.

Incoming Commissioner Naga will succeed Privacy Commissioner Raymund Enriquez Liboro, whom the former worked with as Deputy Privacy Commissioner.

Commissioner Liboro congratulated his erstwhile deputy for his appointment and expressed support for his leadership. “I thank President Rodrigo Duterte for appointing Atty. John Henry Du Naga as the new Privacy Commissioner. With Atty. Naga’s appointment, I know that I am passing the baton to capable hands. I have great confidence that the new Privacy Commissioner will further cement the National Privacy Commission as a body committed to advancing data privacy and protection,” Liboro said.

Appointed as the country’s first Privacy Commissioner in March 2016 and having finished two consecutive terms, Liboro fast-tracked data protection policy development in the country by issuing the Data Privacy Act’s Implementing Rules and Regulations and essential policy circulars and advisories.

In October 2018, Commissioner Liboro put the country on the global scene by earning the Philippines a voting seat on the exclusive 5-member executive committee of the Global Privacy Assembly (GPA).

In 2019, the NPC, through Commissioner Liboro chaired the first-ever ASEAN Data Protection and Privacy Forum and hosted the 52nd Asia Pacific Privacy Authorities Forum.

Since 2020, the NPC has issued public health bulletins to guide personal information controllers and data subjects at a time of unprecedented and rampant data collection in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, under Commissioner Liboro’s leadership, the NPC was tasked with spearheading the COVID-19 task force of the GPA, which aimed to examine current privacy concerns and drive practical responses to privacy issues emerging from the pandemic.

This year, Commissioner Liboro focused on leveraging privacy to boost economic recovery, enabling trust and confidence in our industries to protect data privacy. As a result, the NPC successfully launched the NPC Philippine Privacy Trust Mark in November, a mechanism for companies to apply for demonstrable proof of excellence.

New role and same goal

As Deputy Privacy Commissioner since December 2019, Naga has considered consistency as the key to his work in both regulatory framework and ethical governance. He pushed for fair policies, technology standards, and other initiatives that promote privacy and data protection in the country.

“As I take this new role as Privacy Commissioner, my focus is to ensure the efficient and effective enforcement of the law and the protection of data subjects’ rights and interests,” said the new privacy chief. “Compliance is not just for the organization. It is also for the people, for our country. To protect one another through compliance is the first step to national stability and security,” he added.

The incoming Commissioner was briefly designated as NPC’s Data Protection Officer, who enhanced the agency’s internal policies and procedures in data protection and standards. He also headed the Data Security and Compliance Office, spearheading the agency’s mandate to monitor government and the private sector to ensure compliance with the DPA and provide assistance on matters relating to data protection at the request of a national or local agency, a private entity, or any person.

Before his appointment at the Philippines’ privacy body, Naga was the Assistant Secretary of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT). During his stint at the DICT, he pushed for several information and communication technology (ICT) bills as the Legislative Liaison. In addition, he became the representative of the Department in various international ICT organizations.

In June 2018, he was appointed as the DICT Undersecretary for Management and Operations and was responsible for the overall internal management of the Department.

He also headed the Technical Working Groups for the Entry of the 3rd Telecommunications Player, the Common Tower Policy, the Tripartite agreement with the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) and Transco. Further, he was instrumental in securing the Landing Party Agreement with the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) and Facebook, giving the Philippines 2 terabyte internet capacity. In February 2019, he led the Development and Innovations cluster of the DICT that was in charge of implementing the National Broadband Plan, National Government Portal, and the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys).

The incoming ‘Commissioner’s career in providing public service started when he became a two-term provincial board member in the Province of Masbate. After passing the bar, he provided legal services as he handled high-profile labor, telecommunications, and corporate law cases.