THE NATIONAL Privacy Commission (NPC) wants the National Government to collect as little information as possible from aid beneficiaries affected by the Luzon-wide lockdown to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement, the agency on Saturday said agencies should avoid burdening beneficiaries with personal data requirements that would slow aid distribution.

“Collect only necessary personal details, such as those required according to usual accounting, auditing and budgeting rules and regulations when disbursing public funds, as well as other applicable laws and regulations,” privacy Commissioner Raymund E. Liboro said.

Under the law that gave President Rodrigo R. Duterte special powers to deal with the outbreak, affected Metro Manila households will get P8,000 in subsidies for two months, while those in other regions will get P5,000 to P6,000.

The Anti-Red Tape Authority earlier said the Social Welfare department should use e-banking or e-wallets in distributing cash aid.

Mr. Liboro said collected data must be protected from unauthorized access, adding that the government should apply retention or disposal policies to prevent future use.

Employers are also not required to obtain consent from workers as they submit required data to government agencies in charge of distributing aid.

“It is during these trying times that the data protection officers of companies are needed to provide timely and sensible advice to their management, considering all attendant circumstances and mindful of the rights and interests of the affected workers,” Mr. Liboro said. — Jenina P. Ibañez