By Raymond Carl Dela Cruz, May 11, 2023; Philippine News Agency

MANILA – The National Privacy Commission (NPC) and the country’s top telecommunications companies (telcos) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to work together in ensuring data protection and fighting against digital fraud and other cybercrimes.

In a statement on Thursday, the NPC said the MOU was signed on Wednesday by Privacy Commissioner John Henry Naga, DITO Telecommunity representative Adel Tamano, Globe Telecom representative Irish Krystle Salandanan-Almeida, and Smart Communications representative Leah Camilla Jimenez.

“By virtue of the memorandum, a joint task force is established to foster coordination, communication, and implementation of the parties’ respective obligations regarding data privacy and protection, with NPC serving as the Secretariat,” it said.

The joint task force will also work towards capacity-building, knowledge-sharing, and intensifying anti-fraud measures through a “joint information dissemination campaign” to educate the public on existing fraudulent schemes and how to report them.

“The collaboration between NPC and telcos, through the MOU, is a response to the urgent need to protect the public’s data privacy and security, especially against the prevalence of fraudulent schemes such as targeted smishing messages,” it said.

Naga said the MOU will also create a “more dynamic relationship” between the government and the telcos.

“By working together in this common endeavor, we can effectively promote the significance of ensuring that personal data is safe and secured, and the consequences of failing to do so,” he said. (PNA)