Statement of CHR spokesperson, Atty Jacqueline Ann de Guia, clarifying the position paper of CHR Region XII on the South Cotabato Covid-19 Contact Tracing System

Statement of CHR spokesperson, Atty Jacqueline Ann de Guia, clarifying the position paper of CHR Region XII on the South Cotabato Covid-19 Contact Tracing System

At face value, the South Cotabato Covid-19 Contact Tracing System fits within the triad of the government’s general strategy of ‘test, trace, treat’ in responding to the current pandemic.

Interventions, such as preventing further transmission, are best aided with correct and timely information.

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR), however, stresses that a person’s right to privacy remains inviolable. From the lens of human rights, laws must always be in consonance with established human rights standards and shall ultimately work to uphold and respect a person’s dignity even when confronted with a national health emergency.

Without a clear plan for its implementation, CHR clarifies that South Cotabato’s Covid-19 tracing system should pass the test, not only of legality, but also of compliance to human rights parameters, including the careful balance between the public’s right to health and the people’s right to privacy.

CHR also echoes its call for unity in this time of adversity and equally urges the government, including those in the localities, to place human rights at the centre of all Covid-19 interventions. ###