May 24, 2024

The city council deferred acting on a proposal that sought the profiling of Baguio residents to help in the peacekeeping efforts of the local police.

This came following the concerns raised on whether the proposal will do the residents any good and to barangay officials who will be among those tasked to safekeep the data collected to serve the intention of the proposed ordinance, which was proposed by the Baguio City Police Office as early as 2020.

Councilor Michael Lawana, one of the proponents of the “Tenant ko, kilala ko ordinance”, has acknowledged the complications of the proposed measure, especially in relation to the provisions of existing laws such as the Local Government Code and the Data Privacy Act.

The proposed ordinance sought to require houseowners and establishments to register their tenants to the barangays, which is seen as a helpful mechanism for the police when going after persons accused of or wanted for a crime.

Representatives of the BCPO who attended the council session last week said some crimes committed in boarding houses were not solved because the identity of the boarders were not known.

While acknowledging the need for collaboration in the maintenance of peace and order, some councilors raised possible complications the proposed ordinance might cause.

Councilor Peter Fianza said the Local Government Code already mandates the barangay secretary to keep an updated record of all residents of a barangay and those residing in a barangay.

He said some of the information collected are personal and sensitive, which should not be disclosed.

He added the barangays are not equipped on data protection, which will leave them in a disadvantageous position if they breach data confidentiality in relation to giving away the personal information of residents. The law imposes a fine of P500,000 to P2 million to violators.

Councilor Jose Molintas said the proposed ordinance might cause a lot of violations rather than the good it aims to achieve.

Councilor Benny Bomogao said an alternative would be to ask homeowners and establishments to keep a logbook where their guests can register to address the difficulty of tracking the identity of visitors involved in a crime. – Jane B. Cadalig