Scope of Application (Rule II): Data Privacy Act

[Table of Contents] [Glossary]

Rule II. Scope of Application 

Section 4. Scope. The Act and these Rules apply to the processing of personal data by any natural and juridical person in the government or private sector. They apply to an act done or practice engaged in and outside of the Philippines if: 

a. The natural or juridical person involved in the processing of personal data is found or established in the Philippines; 

b. The act, practice or processing relates to personal data about a Philippine citizen or Philippine resident; 

c. The processing of personal data is being done in the Philippines; or 

d. The act, practice or processing of personal data is done or engaged in by an entity with links to the Philippines, with due consideration to international law and comity, such as, but not limited to, the following: 

  1. Use of equipment located in the country, or maintains an office, branch or agency in the Philippines for processing of personal data;
  2. A contract is entered in the Philippines; 
  3. A juridical entity unincorporated in the Philippines but has central management and control in the country; 
  4. An entity that has a branch, agency, office or subsidiary in the Philippines and the parent or affiliate of the Philippine entity has access to personal data; 
  5. An entity that carries on business in the Philippines;
  6. An entity that collects or holds personal data in the Philippines. 

Section 5. Special Cases. The Act and these Rules shall not apply to the following specified information, only to the minimum extent of collection, access, use, disclosure or other processing necessary to the purpose, function, or activity concerned: 

a. Information processed for purpose of allowing public access to information that fall within matters of public concern, pertaining to: 

1. Information about any individual who is or was an officer or employee of government that relates to his or her position or functions, including: 

  • (a)  The fact that the individual is or was an officer or employee of the government; 
  • (b)  The title, office address, and office telephone number of the individual; 
  • (c)  The classification, salary range, and responsibilities of the position held by the individual; and 
  • (d)  The name of the individual on a document he or she prepared in the course of his or her employment with the government; 

2. Information about an individual who is or was performing a service under contract for a government institution, but only in so far as it relates to suc h service, including the name of the individual and the terms of his or her contract; 

3. Information relating to a benefit of a financial nature conferred on an individual upon the discretion of the government, such as the granting of a license or permit, including the name of the individual and the exact nature of the benefit: Provided, that they do not include benefits given in the course of an ordinary transaction or as a matter of right; 

b. Personal information processed for journalistic, artistic or literary purpose, in order to uphold freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, subject to requirements of other applicable law or regulations; 

c. Personal information that will be processed for research purpose, intended for a public benefit, subject to the requirements of applicable laws, regulations, or ethical standards; 

d. Information necessary in order to carry out the functions of public authority, in accordance with a constitutionally or statutorily mandated function pertaining to law enforcement or regulatory function, including the performance of the functions of the independent, central monetary authority, subject to restrictions provided by law. Nothing in this Act shall be construed as having amended or repealed Republic Act No. 1405, otherwise known as the Secrecy of Bank Deposits Act; Republic Act No. 6426, otherwise known as the Foreign Currency Deposit Act; and Republic Act No. 9510, otherwise known as the Credit Information System Act (CISA); 

e. Information necessary for banks, other financial institutions under the jurisdiction of the independent, central monetary authority or Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, and other bodies authorized by law, to the extent necessary to comply with Republic Act No. 9510 (CISA), Republic Act No. 9160, as amended, otherwise known as the Anti-Money Laundering Act, and other applicable laws; 

f. Personal information originally collected from residents of foreign jurisdictions in accordance with the laws of those foreign jurisdictions, including any applicable data privacy laws, which is being processed in the Philippines. The burden of proving the law of the foreign jurisdiction falls on the person or body seeking exemption. In the absence of proof, the applicable law shall be presumed to be the Act and these Rules: 

Provided, that the non-applicability of the Act or these Rules do not extend to personal information controllers or personal information processors, who remain subject to the requirements of implementing security measures for personal data protection: Provided further, that the processing of the information provided in the preceding paragraphs shall be exempted from the requirements of the Act only to the minimum extent necessary to achieve the specific purpose, function, or activity. 

Section 6. Protection afforded to Data Subjects. 

a. Unless directly incompatible or inconsistent with the preceding sections in relation to the purpose, function, or activities the non-applicability concerns, the personal information controller or personal information processor shall uphold the rights of data subjects, and adhere to general data privacy principles and the requirements of lawful processing. 

b. The burden of proving that the Act and these Rules are not applicable to a particular information falls on those involved in the processing of personal data or the party claiming the non-applicability. 

c. In all cases, the determination of any exemption shall be liberally interpreted in favor of the rights and interests of the data subject. 

Section 7. Protection Afforded to Journalists and their Sources

a. Publishers, editors, or duly accredited reporters of any newspaper, magazine or periodical of general circulation shall not be compelled to reveal the source of any news report or information appearing in said publication if it was related in any confidence to such publisher, editor, or reporter. 

b. Publishers, editors, or duly accredited reporters who are likewise personal information controllers or personal information processors within the meaning of the law are still bound to follow the Data Privacy Act and related issuances with regard to the processing of personal data, upholding rights of their data subjects and maintaining compliance with other provisions that are not incompatible with the protection provided by Republic Act No. 53. 

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