MANILA — The Philippines and Singapore agreed to share best practices in personal data protection and develop compatible mechanisms to facilitate trusted cross border data flows, including mutual recognition of comparable protection afforded by their respective laws to safeguard both Philippines and Singapore citizens.
Philippine President Rodrigo R. Duterte and Singapore President Halimah Yacob personally witnessed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in Malacañang Palace on September 9 between the Philippines’ National Privacy Commission (NPC) and Singapore’s Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC), during the State Visit of Singapore to the Philippines.
The MOU — signed by NPC Privacy Commissioner Raymund E. Liboro and PDPC Commissioner Tan Kiat How — reaffirms and strengthens the working relationship between the two countries to improve personal data protection and foster trust in cross border data flows.
The document marks the first data protection-related MOU the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) signed.
Liboro stated that this collaboration would further ensure that the Philippines and Singapore would continue to strengthen its partnership when it comes to data protection.
“With the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding, the Philippines and Singapore envision exchanges of information and best practices to foster innovation. We will also work on mutual assistance in data privacy enforcement. This is a reaffirmation of both the Philippines’ and Singapore’s recognition of the importance of data governance and cross-border data-flows to global trade in a digital economy,” he said.
For his part, PDPC Commissioner Tan said the MOU signals Singapore’s continued strong partnership with the Philippines as a collaboration partner.
“Singapore is pleased to continue fostering closer collaborations with partners such as the Philippines to drive a robust data protection regime crucial to promoting and safeguarding cross border data flows that are the lifeblood of the digital economy.
“Our work will include developing mechanisms to facilitate cross-border data flow, such as the APEC Cross-Border Privacy Rules and ASEAN Cross-Border Data Flows Mechanism, and best practices to enable data innovation, through the use of data sharing sandboxes,” he said. (APEC is Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation.)
In the MOU, both countries have committed to cooperate in the areas of mutual exchange of information and joint enforcement actions. (NPC)
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