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GenSan LGU won’t disclose names of El Niño aid beneficiaries

The General Santos City government is not inclined to release the names of the people who benefited from P100 million aid distributed to cope with the El Niño dry weather impact.

According to City Administrator Franklin Gacal, the city government must protect the privacy and personal information of the estimated 10,000 recipients of the El Niño assistance.

Opposition City Councilor Froebel Kan Balleque earlier urged the city government to release the list of El Niño aid beneficiaries in the interest of transparency following complaints of alleged favoritism and other irregularities.

“Unless Balleque can show that the 10,000 beneficiaries consent to the release of their personal and sensitive information – their names, residence, financial capacity, etc- we are duty bound to protect such information under the law. Unauthorized disclosure of personal and sensitive information without consent of the data subject is a crime punishable by the Data Privacy Act,” Gacal said in a Facebook post.

The city council has directed the committee on agriculture and the committee on social services to look into the alleged irregularities in the El Niño aid program. But the committee chair has yet to schedule a hearing.

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