What should be the direction of the Philippine Intellectual Property Law

Copyright is the grant given to the literary or artistic work of the creator. It covers the rights of the creator to exploit, make use, produce and distribute his literary or artistic work.

Unlike the other subjects covered by the Intellectual Property Law, copyright need not be registered. The law provides that intellectual creations in the literary and artistic domain are protected from the moment they are created.

However, the simplicity of the protection granted in copyright makes it difficult to ascertain whether it is already infringement of the copyright or simply fair use of the product. The difficulty arises in determining whether an act of a person is in the scope of fair use which is allowed by law or when a person is already infringing the creator’s copyright.

It may not be noticed by a lot of people, maybe due to ignorance, or maybe it is just ignored, but a lot of things around us are covered by the intellectual creations. One of which is that of the copyright granted to musical and literary creations.

Some however have misconceptions about what copyright really is. This is because of the lack in the awareness of the intellectual property rights around us.

Some think that that the famous reality television shows such as Pinoy Big Brother, Philippine Dream Academy and game shows such us Money Drop and Minute to Win are products of copy right. These are televisions that became popular in other countries that were adopted by the country. In the show PBB and PDA you can notice the logo of Endemol,the international company who created the idea and program of the show. This is a franchise granted to an applicant.

Due to the sudden influx of Asians specially Koreans in the country, Filipinos became familiar to their tradition, culture and style. Korean entertainment became popular in the Philippines. We became part of the worldwide phenomenal spread and massive consumption of Korean entertainment called as the “Hallyu Wave” or the “Korean Wave”.

Thus, local companies regularly buy licenses from Korean broadcasters for them to be able to air dubbed versions of Koreanovelas. Sometimes, when the show gets really high ratings, they even reproduce a Filipino version of the show. . This is the grant of license to the applicant.

On the other hand, there was a time before the proliferation of mp3s, where the buyer can choose a selection of songs which will be later on burned and sold. This became a trend before because you will be able to choose only the songs you want to listen to, and you get to way for the burned CD for a minimal fee. This is an example of copyright infringement, a violation of the right of the creator.

Advancement in technology is all over the globe. Technology became the growing trend and as can be noticed and observed everywhere. People nowadays are also becoming more dependent in the use of technology.

One of the apparent major changes in technology is the introduction of apple products and android phones, and the proliferation of wireless fidelity allowing users to make use of internet networks almost everywhere. The combination of the major modifications made a crucial change in the copy rights of the creators.

Another noticeable violation of the copyright is the proliferation of pirated videos and audio videos. A lot of people prefer to buy these kind of product due to the very low practical price.

You can also, purchase videos with more than one movie, making it more economical. You can purchase a video for a very low cost and the whole family can even get to watch it, and you can even replay it over and over again. The same goes with audio CD that is why a lot of musical artist no longer profit from their album because they are already pirated.

In the law setting, law books are very important to us. However a book cost a thousand pesos or more for a hard bound copy or 800 pesos or above for soft bound copy. Some professors even prescribe a number of books as reference material for a given subject.

A lot of law students are working, purchasing a law book is not that economical considering that there area lot of expenses to pay for like tuition fee and miscellaneous. It is more practical for them to have it photocopied instead of buying one.

Some photocopy centers do not accept photocopying jobs of law books for they are aware of the restrictions and penalties that may be imposed once caught reproducing law books. Some accept photocopying which are limited to just a number of pages but not the whole book. While some even go to the extent of making a book a like of the book.

With all of these, it can be said that there is no law restricting or prohibiting it. But since we have the intellectual property code, then we can say that the law lacks the implementing power to enforce it.

The Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines really do lack the implementing force. You can hardly hear any news about any body being sued for infringement despite the proliferation of a lot of pirated products.

All that we are able to hear are only reports of police officers confiscating pirated VCDs and audio CDs in the places like Quaipo, Divisoria and Baclaran. And this is the only enforcement we know of, nothing else.

Some of the law enforcement officers are even the ones who violate the law. Some of them allow sellers to sell their pirated products in exchange for a free copy of the movies they prefer. Moreover, some of the law enforcement officers are event the protectors of the pirates, they are not stopped or prevented from producing, selling, distributing the burned materials.

What the law needs is a strong implementation. There should be a bureau or agency should monitor and oversee that the right of the creators are protected, and no person would be able to infringe another persons creation.

Moreover, strong implementation should be exercised in order to assure the goal of the code of protecting the creators’ rights and to encourage creators as well to continue creating musical or literary works.

The Philippine intellectual code should be directed towards the real protection of the creators of musical and literary works. There should also be strict implementation and enforcement of the law. There should be punishment and penalties for the acts of infringement.

I have read the proposed amendment in the Intellectual Property Code. One of the amendment made is the removal of the importation restriction of books. The law used to limit the importation of the books to 3 copies of the legitimate copyrighted works.

Now, there is no longer a restriction on the number of books that can be imported. And, the said provision will no longer be considered as a copyright infringement for it falls under the fair use provision of the law.

This is a good amendment of the law for it will allow schools and other educational institutions to get hold of a number of copies of good books from all around the globe without violating the law.

Another amendment of the law is with regard to jail breaking. Apple products can be jail broken. Once the unit has been jail broken, the apple logo will look like a skull that is used to symbolize poison. After that, you can already install application in your gadget. You can also upgrade the system automatically.

Jail breaking became popular to some iPhone users because you can readily upload applications free of charge. Usually application are being bought at iTunes, however applications are expensive especially the good ones.

But when you had your unit jail broken, you lose the warranty of item the but you can download anything free of charge. Usually an apple user uploads a number number of applications in his phone since it has a big memory capacity and the purpose will be defeated that it is an all in one gadget if there are just a few applications installed.

The amendment in the law provides that any act that tends to circumvent technology shall not be considered as a crime. The law states that they are not crime in themselves. The law requires that the person should be first found guilty of copy right infringement.

Then that will be the only time that jail breaking or circumvention of technology will increase the imposable penalty to the one who infringes, moreover, damages can be awarded by the court.

The law emphasize that the person need be found guilty of copyright infringement, as jail breaking is merely an aggravating circumstance that can increase the penalty. Thus, jail breaking is not a crime under the amendments.

Another amendment of the law is grant of enforcement powers to the Intellectual Property Office. The law grants visitorial powers to Intellectual Property Office and it also allows it to undertake enforcement functions with the support of government agencies such as the Philippine National Police, National Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Customs and the Local Government Units.

The agency will not be conducting raids or seizures but will be coordinating with the above mentioned government agencies to aide them in these functions. However, since intellectual property rights remain to be a private right, it shall still be required that there must be a complaint from the intellectual property rights owner.

The amended law also provides for the establishment of the Bureau of Copyright. The said bureau shall be in charge of the important functions such as policy formulation, rule making, adjudication, research and education.

This amendment is due to the fact that what we only have is a Copyright Division located at the National Library. The function of such office is limited only to merely accepting deposits of copyrighted works. But with the creation of the Copyright Bureau it shall be responsible in serving the needs of the musical and literary creators.

The amended law provides for the accreditation of collective management organizations which shall enforce the copyright of the copyright holders. Through this, the Intellectual Property Office will be able to monitor and promote good corporate governance among the collective management organizations. This will benefit not only the rights of the holders themselves but also the users of copyrighted works.

Moreover, the members of the Philippine Retailers Association, mall owners, restaurants, and other heavy users of music in their establishments will greatly benefit from this provision. With this amendment, they are ensured that only legitimate collecting agencies can collect royalties from them on behalf of copyright owners.

One of the most important amendment of the law is the fair use for the blind and visually- and reading-impaired. The provision would give a special fair use exemption for the non-commercial reproduction of works for use by visually-impaired persons.

This was done because thousands of blind Filipinos could not buy Braille works at cheap prices because the copyright protection operates. With this amendment, blind and visually impaired Filipinos can have easier access to copyrighted works in Braille.

Another important amendment of the law which applies in the Philippine setting is the formulation of intellectual property policies within universities and other academic institutions,. With this amendment it will ensure that the rights of the academic community such as the professors, researchers as well as students over their literary, scholarly and artistic works are clearly protected and respected.

With an intellectual property policy in existence, these sectors within the academe will have a clear delineation of their respective rights and benefits, thus, avoiding disputes and costly litigation within their ranks which would be detrimental to education, research and development.

The direction of the Philippine intellectual code should be focused on major factors in order to assure an effective intellectual property law especially that of copyright.

The direction of the law should be focused more on the proper implementation and enforcement of the law, the creation of the appropriate rules and regulations to be followed, the protection and awareness of the scope of the Philippine intellectual property rights and the strict monitoring and enhancement of the applicability of the law to the ever changing environment

In the proper implementation and enforcement of the law, the proposed amendment of creating a Bureau of Copyright which will work in coordination with several government units is a great move in implementing the law.

The bureau will be in charge of addressing the concerns of the copyright holders, this will give them the assurance that their right will be protected. This will also help in curtailing the rampant production of pirated CDs and VCDs. With this the economical interest of the artist and authors will be protected.

Moreover the country can promote its literary and musical creation and resources. There will be more artist and authors who will continue with their art and some will also be motivated to engage in the same industry as well, because they believe that such endeavor will be fruitful and profitable.

Another important effect is the increased economy, because the underground economy will be restricted. With this, the government can collect taxes from the legitimate copy purchases as compared to the pirated copies where taxes cannot be collected.

And, if the law provides for the appropriate rules and regulations to be followed, the newly created bureau will have a guiding procedure to follow in the enforcement of the law. There will also be a standardized criteria in determining and identifying the rights and obligations of the copyright as well as the violations of the law.

There will be a standard operating procedure that will be followed in order to prevent the capricious, malicious, despotic and arbitrary exercise of the law.

Then, with the protection and awareness to the Philippine intellectual property rights. People who don’t know what copyright is or who does not know what it really is, would never know that they are already violating the law and the rights of the creators.

If awareness is created among the people, they will know the limitations to the use or enjoyment of a certain thing. With this, it could be reasonably expected that the end result of such act is the protection of the rights of the creators. The people will know the value of the creations of artists and writers, thus will prevent the infringement of which.

Protection of the creations should be mandatory because these is the bread and butter of the literary and musical artist. If this is not protected, they will no longer have a source of income, and obviously they will no longer have the motivation to continue their art.

If following factors are to be considered and followed, we can guarantee that there will be a lot of persons who will continue wit their craft and expertise.

The law should also be catered according to the fast changing and dynamic environment. Technology modifies the world really fast, because of this we should be able to adapt and be able to go along with the current.

The Philippine Intellectual Code should be directed towards advancement, it should be able to meet the needs and demands of the environment. If our law cannot adapt to these needs, a lot of our musical and literary artists will be prejudiced. Thus, our law should be really pro active.

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Cyber Crive Law vs Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom

I was once victimized by a libelous article online. It was a post on my Facebook account. I was not familiar during that time with the security settings provided by the social network, thus I was not able to restrict the posting in my wall without my prior approval.


Fortunately, only one was able to read it.  When I learned bout it, I immediately deleted the said post. Even though no one knew about it, I thought I should give the author a lesson. I filed a libel case in the prosecutor’s office at Quezon City; however to my dismay the case was dismissed.


The prosecutor in his resolution decided that there was no probable cause, and since there was no crime punishing it, therefore, there is no crime. The post was really libelous, it falls exactly under the said provision of libel since there was intent to damage the reputation of another, with malice and it was published.


If my friends and relatives connected in my network were able to read the said article, it would definitely destroy my reputation, and yet I did not get justice for the said offense. I was delighted when I learned about the passing of the cyber crime law, because finally, wrongful acts such as what happened to me will already be penalized.


Recently, there was a report on the television wherein an internet website posted the kissing of people as well as the host in clubs. A lot of people got concerned due to such scandalous behavior. The film maker and website owner said that there was nothing wrong with what they posted and there is no law prohibiting them from posting such act. They also alleged that it is in the exercise of their freedom of expression and the people on the show expressed their consent to the said airing of the said film. Again, if there is no crime punishing it, then there is no crime.


MTRCB reacted on this issue; they said that they should have control on Internet postings like what they are doing in television shows. The Board should be able to ban or restrict the airing of shows that are malicious and scandalous which are against public morals and interests.


However, since they were not delegated with the authority to do so, they cannot do anything; otherwise it would constitute ultra vires acts on their part. The concerned citizens were only able to air their sentiments about the film, but no action can bee taken against it.


I was watching the evening news one Saturday night when suddenly a report on an ongoing rally was aired. The rallyists were questioning the recently passed Cyber Crime Law or RA 10175. They were alleging that the said law was prejudicial to their constitutional right to freedom of speech and expression. They were calling it the e-martial law for they were unjustly oppressed and deprived of their right to express their opinions and views on-line. Most of the rallyists were Internet bloggers, programmers and website designers.


The cyber crime law was penned more or less a decade ago. It was passed into a law just recently. Despite this fact, the bill was still questioned due to certain provisions claimed to be violative of rights of individuals. The said bill became as controversial as the RH bill which raised several opinions from the public who were called the “Netizens” or the net citizens.


Incidental to this, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago filed Senate Bill 3327 also known as the Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom, Cybercrime Prevention and Law Enforcement, Cyber defense and National Cyber security. It is a bill that seeks the passage into law and aims to replace Republic Act No. 10175 or the Philippine Cybercrime Law.


I went through both bills and it showed several disparities. One of which is that the Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom does not allow illegal searches and seizures by authorities as alleged to be allowed by the  Cyber Crime  Law.


Senator Santiago was invoking that the Anti-Cybercrime Law violates the right to privacy and the constitutional guarantee against illegal search and seizure in allowing the warrant less real-time collection  of traffic data.


Traffic data as provided in RA 10175  refer only to the communication’s origin, destination, route, time, date, size, duration, or type of underlying service, but not content, nor identities.


I cannot see any violation of the said provision from the constitutional rights of individuals to privacy, as it is defined in the act, only the technical information of the data shall be collected, not the content of the material nor it identifies the identity of the subscriber.


Moreover, this does not violate the constitutional guarantee against illegal search and seizure because what is being collected is only the technical information of the data and not the material itself.


The law also specifically provided that all other data to be collected or seized or disclosed will require a court warrant. This provision enforces the protection of the right of the individuals. 


The Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom only provides a more elaborate and specific guideline in ensuring due process by providing strict guidelines for any collection of any data, including the securing of warrants, obligating notification, and limiting seizure to data and excluding physical property


The bill also provides that the government will no longer be allowed to block website on its own. The bill shall require a court order before authorities can take down or censor


Another noticeable disparity is that the Cyber Crime Law also provides the issuance of the DOJ of an order to restrict or block access to such computer data when the computer data is prima facie found to be in violation of the provisions of this act where in the government may have a website or network blocked or restricted without due process of law.


While, Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom finds the provisions of the Cyber Crime Law as an illegal take down of website or networks.

Looking closely, both laws are the same, the Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom again was o only providing a more specific procedure as compared to that of the Cyber Crime Law.


The “prima facie” proof needed to show that the computer data is in violation of the law is not questionable. The said computer website will only be blocked or restricted in order to provide immediate aide to the alleged victim and for the law to be able to prevent further damage to the individual to whom it pertains to. In my appreciation, if the computer data be found to be not libelous or scandalous, such blocking or restriction shall be lifted.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom also supports the creation of a new executive department for Information and Communication Technology. It is due to the broad range of responsibilities and obligations which will be related to the enforcement and implementation of laws governing Information and Communication Technology. They said that a department-level office should be established and its functions and jurisdiction should be clearly defined.                                               


The provisions of the Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom is aimed to better equip our law enforcement officers and military personnel to help them fight cyber terrorism and cyber attacks from any hostile entity.


On the other hand, the Cyber Crime Law also provides for the organization of a cyber crime unit or center which shall be manned by special investigators to exclusively handle cases involving violations of the act. It will be a joint project of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Philippine National Police (PNP).


Cyber Crime unit shall also be responsible for the efficient and effective law enforcement of the provisions of the act. They shall also be required to submit timely and regular reports including pre-operation, post-operation and investigation results and such other documents as may be required to the Department of Justice (DOJ) for review and monitoring.


Both bills provide for the creation of a special unit to handle the cybercrime provisions of the respective laws. However, the Cyber Crime law shall be much better in providing for the said services since they are the one incharge in the peace and order of the nation as well as in the prosecution and apprehension of offenders. The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) are more equipped and has the expertise in handling such cases.


The Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom and the Cyber Crime Law both provides for the penalties and punishment of offenses such as child pornography, child abuse and human trafficking since it can be committed through the Internet.


The Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom mandates government agencies to provide security for the data they collect from citizens to ensure their right to privacy which the Cyber Crime Law also provides once the said data are within their custody.


The Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom prohibits double jeopardy as compared to the Cyber Crime Law which allows double jeopardy through prosecution of offenses committed against its provisions and prosecution of offenses committed against the Revised Penal Code and special laws, even though the offenses may have arose from a single act.


Further perusal of the Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom, the law provides for an all encompassing provisions that do not only penalize cyber crime but all provides for the advantages of the use of cyber technology.


The Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom provides for a provision that promotes the information and technology communication as a means to empower the government and shall be a medium for a more effective and efficient distribution of resources.


A lot of people now are employed in call centers where in their clientele are located abroad. Several products and services are being offered online. I was once a call center agent for Citibank Australia. I was in charge of verifying the credit and personal background of the applicants. I require them to send proof of income and billing address. All they need to do is send the documents via email or fax to our corresponding office in Australia, then it will be automatically posted in our database for us to be able to fraud check it to be able to identify whether the documents were true or merely fabricated. In the other department they are in charge of offering credit facilities, while the other department is in charge of customer service.


Internet is a great medium for communication and business transactions. The use of such became widely and easily accepted because it saves us the energy, time and resources in transacting. People would also be able to deal with a lot of people disregarding geographical barriers.


The Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom also provides for the harnessing of information and communication technology for the national development. This step shall aid in the promotion of the country’s economic growth and ensuring that the Filipinos remain competitive in this changing world.


As can be noticed nowadays, a lot of people are engaging in Internet selling, people who are working in their offices or even at home are able to market and sell their products on-line. There is already an adapted procedure of selling and buying where in the buyer can opt to pay for the products via Gcash or remittance, while the seller may deliver the products through personal delivery or via private courier.


The whole transaction was basically made on line. Sellers mainly post the picture of the products and put a brief description of it and the buyers can just browse through it until finally the sale shall be consummated.


Another feature of the Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom is that it prepares our law enforcement agencies and armed forces for the current and emerging security challenges. It equips our law enforcement with the capability to fight, and respond to cybercrime.


This is a very important provision of the Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom. The national security and interest of the people are of great concerns that need to be protected. A lot of countries now are using electronic based weapons and detecting devices.


If the country will be guided by this law, we will be able to cope up with our defenses and be able to match the threats and attacks that being posed to us by terrorist and oppressors.


The two laws should be consolidated into one. Both laws have their own advantages and when consolidated together will make a great law that can be used in our country.


Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom  provides for a more comprehensive and all encompassing scope. The legislators should merge the new bill with the recently passed bill for us to have our very own cyber crime law that we can put into use.


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The effect of RA 10173 in my life

Every morning when I wake up, the first thing I do is look at the time on my phone, snooze or turn off the alarm during early morning appointments. After all the all the stretching and thinking for awhile, I get up and make myself a warm cup of coffee, I then proceed to the veranda and spend some time enjoying the new morning. I then check if I have messages or calls that I missed during the night.

Before I enjoy reading the papers bought by my mom after her work out, since I am far away from home, I just open the TV to watch the morning news, but if I didn’t get to catch the morning show, I browse the internet and check the news for the day or featured articles.

When I am at my office, my day starts by checking my email, I check for clients queries, if my boss left me things that I need to do, messages from friends and of course, deleting the spam mail. I simultaneously open my email with the social network Facebook to check on recent happenings in people’s lives as well as new posts on my own wall. When I am in the food, I even post my own shout out.

For the past 2 years, it already became my habit to send a message or wall post to my dear friend at Singapore; I update her about our daily activities with her daughter Anica which she left with me. I also frequently post videos and pictures for her to visualize the things that we are doing and to assure that her daughter is happy and alright.

During weekends, we make sure we video chat her, we usually spend the whole morning talking with her while doing our usual thing to make her as if she was with us. We usually cook while were online, she teaches us cooking techniques since she is a chef at a hotel abroad.

Judith, sends us money for the maintenance and schooling of her daughter, she usually sends the monthly budget of her daughter via remittance centers through bank. It usually takes a day before it reflects in my account, but there are times that it gets lost in transit where it takes around three to five days before I receive it. Sometimes she makes use of door to door remittance centers if she does not have time to drop by the bank which is basically the same as that of the bank.

There are times when I am too lazy to go to the bank to check on my account balance or if I already received the money Judith sent me, I usually check it on Banc net online. This website carries almost all the bank in the country. All you have to do is to type in your card number and the password of your account then instantly it will already show your outstanding balance.

During my birthday last January, she sent me an I phone 4. I am not really a “techie” person but I instantly got addicted to it. I frequently download applications such as games, entertainment, music, references, socials and the like. My all in one gadget is what I carry with me everywhere I go. There are applications that are free and those that need to be bought, but in both instances you will be required to log in and enter your credit card number in case you have online purchases.

One summer, my dear friend told me to prepare our legal documents for she plans to bring me and her daughter abroad, I already have my passport but Anica needs to apply for one. I experienced before the first time I applied the long cue at DFA Pasay. I went there very early in the morning so that I could be accommodated since they have a cut off daily. They only accept around 100 applicants, after that you have to return the next day. Once I was inside the DFA premises, it took me more or less the whole day to finish the application process.

When my passport expired, I heard about the online renewal application of DFA which i availed of. When I entered the website they required several confidential information such as my whole name, address, birth date and passport number. If I leave an important box blank, I would not be able to get to the next step where the schedule of my appointment will be posted. After filling out all the boxes, I was given a schedule almost 15 days after my application. When the said date arrived, I was there at the usual office hours not the very early morning appearance, then it only took me half a day to get my passport. Finding it more convenient, I again availed of the online services of DFA to apply for Anica’s passport.

Technology now plays a very important role in our lives, the morning I wake up until the time I go back to sleeps, technology is still being applied. Considering all the things it can do and contributes in our lives it already becomes unimaginable to live life without it.

It would be very hard to communicate to other people. Snail mails takes days before it reaches its recipient unlike email with could be received instantly. Before, after we have set an appointment, we just wait for the person to arrive, but now with just one text we could ask their whereabouts or inform them whether we could arrive or not.

Everyone is now dependent in the use of technology in their everyday lives thus, it is a must that a law be passed to limit the use or abuse of such.

Before the only report of usual abuse of the use of information technology is the hacking of accounts of individuals. Experts usually break into corporations’ database and acquire the account numbers and pass code. Some who hacked financial records used the information they acquired to purchase items online and charge it to original user, there are also instances where they used the account of another to defame the user or other people in its network.

Then, due to the proliferation of social networks sites where one can even post their photos and videos, it became easier for abusers to create a crime. There was once a report I watched on television about a doctor who gave to his online friends his home address, his online friends went to his home and attacked which resulted to his death. The said assailants were caught by the video they themselves captured.

This was not the first time, there were several similar cases reported where a crime was committed due to the use of social networks and text messaging. Warning is not enough to prevent the commission of crimes, what is necessary is a law penalizing the abusers and violators of technology.

The enactment of RA 10173 known as “An act protecting individual personal information in information and communications systems in the government and the private sector creating for the purpose a national privacy commission and for other purposes”.

The Data Privacy Act of 2012 aims to protect the fundamental human right of privacy of communication while ensuring free flow of information to promote innovation and growth. The state recognizes the vital role of information and communications technology in nation building and its inherent obligation to ensure that personal information and communications systems in the government and in the private sector are secured and protected.

Right of privacy of communication is necessary to every individual. Most of the people now make use of technology in communicating via texts, calls and internet. There are times that sensitive issues are being tackled online such as family relations or business and trade. If the right to privacy is violated it may tend to prejudice and jeopardize the personal and business affairs of people.

People are entitled to their own privacy for them to be able to do their personal affairs without being subjected to scrutiny or judgment. Even showbiz celebrities being public figures still keeps several matters confidential such as their name and personal circumstances in order to protect themselves and their families from people of no legitimate concern to them.

I remember years ago when I opened an account with one of the commercial banks at Katipunan. The moment I faced the teller and told her I intend to open a savings account, there was a sudden glaze in her eyes which make me wondered. She started talking to me and asked personal questions such as whether I was working or studying or whether I was single or in a relationship.

I pleasingly replied that I was single. When I gave my 1×1 picture which happened to be my graduation picture, she told me that I look like Kristine Hermosa…hmmmm. She then told me that he has a 24 year old son currently taking up law at San Beda University. She told me that her son had been single for quite some time and maybe I would be interested. Since my business with the bank was done, I just smiled at her and thank her for assisting me.

One evening, I suddenly got a call from an anonymous number; since I am into sales I am accustomed to answer such calls. To my shock, he introduced himself as the son of the bank teller. He told me that his mom told a lot of things about me. I tried to end the call telling him that I am currently busy as of the moment, but he suddenly told me that he was at the area and brought some desserts. He told me that he knows my exact address and he will be at my home in a few minutes.

I got scared at what he said, so I then told my housemates that if ever someone comes and looks for me, tell him that I am out somewhere. After a few minutes lapsed, I noticed a green pickup parked in front of our house. My phone suddenly rang, I turned it to silent mode so he would not notice that I was still at home or I was hiding from him.

He went down from his car and asked about me, they told him I was out and I might not be home anytime soon. He stayed for 30 minutes or so, he even texted me that the ice cream he brought was already melting (sayang!). I ignored his texts and calls and I just hoped that he leave already.

I was really shocked at the idea of the bank teller, fully aware of the privacy acts of the banks, gave my compete address and number to his son. Even though I felt such feeling of, I did not make any complaint, I just thought that she was just a concerned mother caring over her children.

The law made a proper mandate in requiring that the person giving the information gives it with his free will and with full understanding of where the said information will be use or its purpose.

There was a time when I was at a Cebuana Lhuiller branch to claim the remittance sent to me by Judith, I was told to fill out a form as a client’s record. I was hesitant and lazy at that time to fill out the form not knowing the relevance of such. I presented a valid identification card to ascertain that I am in fact the recipient of the said remittance so I no longer found a need to fill out such information card. I was then told that it is mandated by law that they acquire the personal information of senders and recipients. But I don’t believe what the teller told me so I just gave untrue information just to get done with the transaction.

The passing of the said law will no longer hinder individuals from disclosing vital information necessary for their trade and business knowing that they are being protected from those violators and abusers.

The law providing Personal information controller is also proper to scare away those who disrespect the use of technology for they are now aware that their acts will not be left unpunished.

Mid this year, I availed of the post paid plan of a network provider, and as a usual procedure, I filled out an application form and provided several credentials for them to determine whether to accept or decline my application. I was requested to provide my employment details and a copy of my pay slip. They also asked for a copy of my bank account or passbook and of course the proof of billing to ascertain my home address which I promptly complied with.

After I was approved, I suddenly noticed that there were several advertisers of real estate, diet programs, leisure activities and other products sent me text messages. I wondered how they were able to get my number. I assume that the network provider are selling their database to other companies but I am not sure until what extent did they give my personal information.

In the mandate of the law, it will then become mandatory for the personal information controller to be wary and cautious before giving away personal details of another. Moreover, since it is required in their function to protect the information given by individuals because it was provided for a specific purpose only. The law punishing them will prevent opportunist from giving away the information.

The implementation of this law will give the public more trust and confidence in the companies or institutions asking for the personal information of individuals. It will also give us peace of mind knowing that the controllers and possessors of the personal information will protect and give due importance to the information. It can also promote the trade and transactions of people.

Nowadays, it has become mandatory for all employees to acquire their SSS, Philhealth, NBI and Pag- ibig. There was a proposition that a centralized information system will be formed in order to facilitate the one identification card system. Moreover, it will also be more convenient for the employees for they only need to apply one to be able to get and ID card for all the services. It will also lessen the need for manual labor for all 5 government agencies will be reduced to only one processing agency.

In line with this, it is just proper to enact a law that will protect the system and to prevent violators and abusers from acquiring or tampering the information system.

The law will be very useful for everyone, all it needs is a strong implementation of the law in order to achieve the aim of the law.It is proper that the law allowed the creation of a separate commission who will monitor and implement the law. If the commission will be able to implement a proper and effective regulations and policies, the protection of information will be well preserved.




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