Top BSP, data privacy execs cite information security milestones in SELYADO 2.0

[L-R] Sam Jacoba, founding president of the National Association of Data Protection Officers of the Philippines; Maricris Salud, deputy director at the Cybersecurity Surveillance and Oversight Group of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas; RADM Rafael Mariano, chief security officer of Union Bank of the Philippines, Lilia Guillermo, managing director at the BSP; Sasa Montes, data privacy officer of UnionBank; Henry Aguda, chief transformation officer and chief technology and operations officer of UnionBank; Leandro Angelo Aguirre, deputy commissioner of the National Privacy Commission; Dennis Omila, chief information officer of UnionBank, and Joey Rufo, chief information security officer, also of UnionBank.

Data privacy and protection has never been more emphasized in one momentous event that gathered top regulatory and industry executives to discuss its significance and impact.

SELYADO 2.0, Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank)’s data security executive forum and exhibit in cooperation with the National Association of Data Protection Officers of the Philippines (NADPOP) held last week at UnionBank Plaza, drew top Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and National Privacy Commission (NPC) officials and international thought leaders to discuss frameworks and initiatives in protecting financial and personal data. The bank’s top enterprise customers from various industries and internal stakeholders attended the whole day affair.

BSP managing director Lilia Guillermo underscored the regulatory body’s view on initiatives highlighting innovations surrounding data security in the financial sector.

“We are elated with the way financial institutions have been at the forefront in assuring customers’ data are safe and secure,” Guillermo said during the event. “Data protection is a key concern not only in the financial sector but all industries to protect the interests of the people they serve.”

Such focus on data protection is in strict compliance with Republic Act 10173 or the Data Privacy Act of 2012, which compels entities that handle and process personal information to institute stringent data security measures.

Deputy commissioner Leandro Angelo Aguirre of the National Privacy Commission took the stage to discuss the privacy code of the banking sector.

“Anything related to these emerging technologies really entail industry and government working together so I’ve mentioned earlier that the banks together with the government regulators should move towards coming up with a privacy code for that particular sector,” Aguirre said.

He said under the Data Privacy Act, each sector is allowed to come up with their own code that governs them and that would set the different standards and expectations that should be looked out for in that particular sector.

“Of course, we are not experts in all the different sectors. And it would be the sectors themselves who will be in the best position to determine what are the proper industry standards that they should adhere to in that sector when it comes to digital transformation that will adopt to these different emerging technologies,” Aguirre said. “For us it’s a step in the right direction and we just want to reaffirm our commitment in the commission to continue working with the sector towards that goal.”

BSP deputy director at Cybersecurity Surveillance and Oversight Group Maricris Salud was also on hand to discuss how banks can boost their “cyber-resiliency” in fighting off data security breaches.

Sam Jacoba, NADPOP founding president, discussed trends in data protection as he stressed burgeoning career opportunities in the sector.

“This is the best time for Filipinos to pursue a career in data privacy and security,” Jacoba said. “All SEC-registered companies that manage personal information need to appoint data protection officers. What we are seeing at NADPOP is that there is still a shortage of world-class DPOs for the Philippines.”

He said this is “compounded” by high demand in European countries and in Singapore, where local data privacy laws require companies to employ data protection officers.

“So if you are a Filipino looking for a career shift or if you are a fresh grad who want something to specialize on, you can be a DPO or data privacy professional,” Jacoba added.

For their part, International thought leaders Gadi Goldstein, chairman of BlueVoyant, and Anand Ramamoorthy, director of Asia-Pacific and Japan of Informatica, bared global data privacy issues and their respective strategies in addressing them.

Charmaine Valmonte, Aboitiz Equity Ventures’ information technology security, compliance and quality assurance head, meanwhile, revealed significant developments in curbing data security threats.

For his part, UnionBank chief technology and operations officer Henry Aguda reiterated the bank’s commitment to upholding the tenets of data privacy as mandated by Data Privacy Act through SELYADO 2.0.

“We are turning ripples into waves in making not only industries but customers and the public aware about taking care of their data more securely,” Aguda said. “In the second year of SELYADO, or SELYADO 2.0, we achieved more than we expected with our partnership with NADPOP and the distinguished participation of our top regulatory officials and enterprise customers and renewed interest from our employees expanding its reach. It’s certainly a resounding success.”

Aguirre added that the forum is “a step at the right direction.”

“We are looking at this event as a good opportunity for the banking industry to demonstrate what it’s doing in terms of technology not just to provide better services but also take advantage of the same technologies to provide consumers with better data privacy and protection and allow the industry to better comply with laws and regulations, one of them being the Data Privacy Act,” he said.

SELYADO is a joint campaign of UnionBank and NADPOP campaign to promote a culture of security and privacy consciousness.

About UnionBank

Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) has consistently been recognized as one of Asia’s leading companies in banking and finance, ranking among the Philippines’ top 10 universal banks in terms of key performance ratios in profitability, liquidity, solvency and efficiency.


The National Association of Data Protection Officers of the Philippines (NADPOP) is a non-stock, non-profit organization that aims to inspire, empower, and prosper data protection officers (DPOs). Its vision is that someday, thousands and thousands of empowered Filipino DPOs will transform the country and the world, and bring integrity, security and prosperity to the privacy practice and industry.