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National Privacy Commission Holds Experiential Compliance Workshop for DPOs

Philippines Workshop for DPOs

The National Privacy Commission (NPC) recently conducted the DPO COMPLex experiential compliance workshop for Philippine government Data Protection Officers (DPOs).

This followed a marked improvement in this year’s DPO registration figures for the sector.

Increased DPO Registration

According to a recent press release, State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) saw the biggest jump in the number of registered entities compared to last year, with numbers jumping to 87%.

National Government Agencies (NGAs) is next at 73%, followed closely by Government-owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCCs) at 72%. Local Government Units (LGUs), meanwhile, are at 39%.

In November 2018, the SUC registration in the NPC was only at 6%, NGAs at 5%, GOCCs at 17%, and LGUS were at 12%.

The surge in numbers can be attributed to the Commission’s enhanced compliance program launched beginning of January this year.

Enhanced Compliance Programs

These consisted of intensified privacy sweeps geared towards government institutions as well as compliance awareness campaigns.

It also included the 1st Digital Data Governance for the Public Sector Conference held alongside other events during the Privacy Awareness Week last May.

As one of the biggest repositories of personal data in the country, it is only imperative that the government fully complies and sets the tenor for all other sectors.

Compliance begins once an organisation’s Data Protection Officer registers with the NPC. It is not the be-all and end-all of compliance.

However, it is the crucial start as it is an indication of accountability and the willingness to cooperate with the Commission.

Compliance in itself, on the one hand, is a journey and takes some time to perfect. The Commission understands that, which is why it provides extensive knowledge support to those who are eager to comply.


The 2-day DPO COMPLex is the result of focused group discussions with DPOs from various government offices.

They have discussed with the Commission the challenges they face at work when instituting compliance-related measures and activities.

Day-one was for DPOs in NGAs and LGUs while day-two was for GOCCs and SUCs.

It features simulation modules to equip participants with first-hand privacy compliance experience on the following:

  1. Data Mapping
  2. Privacy Impact Assessment
  3. Criteria for Lawful Processing
  4. Security Measures
  5. Breach Management

By the end of the experiential workshop, participants are expected to be better equipped on how to prepare and maintain records of the processing activities of their agencies as well as create multi-layered privacy notices using these.

They should also be able to perform a privacy impact assessment in accordance with NPC Advisory 17-03.

Additionally, participating government DPOs are expected to hone their skills at:

  1. Identifying the appropriate criteria or legal basis for their agency’s personal data processing activities
  2. Employing security measures required under NPC Circular 16-01 on the security of personal data in government agencies
  3. Preparing and implementing data sharing agreements in accordance with NPC Circular 16-02, when applicable.

Lastly, participants are expected to gain a better understanding of how to establish personal data breach management procedures for their respective agencies in accordance with NPC Circular 16-03.

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