When hiring potential employees, it is a must that employers ensure that the people that they seek to become new additions to the company shall fit their company standards. In line with this, employers may check the background status of their potential employees, subject to certain limitations. According to Republic Act 10173 also known as the Data Privacy Act of 2012, Section 12 provides for the criteria for lawful processing of personal information as follows:
“SEC. 12. Criteria for Lawful Processing of Personal Information. -The processing of personal information shall be permitted only if not otherwise prohibited by law, and when at least one of the following conditions exists:
a) The data subject has given his or her consent;
b) The processing of personal information is necessary and is related to the fulfillment of a contract with the data subject or in order to take steps at the request of the data subject prior to entering into a contract;
c) The processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which the personal information controller is subject;
d) The processing is necessary to protect vitally important interests of the data subject, including life and health;
e) The processing is necessary in order to respond to national emergency, to comply with the requirements of public order and safety, or to fulfill functions of public authority which necessarily includes the processing of personal data for the fulfillment of its mandate; or
f) The processing is necessary for the purposes of the legitimate interests pursued by the personal information controller or by a third party or parties to whom the data is disclosed, except where such interests are overridden by fundamental rights and freedoms of the data subject which require protection under the Philippine Constitution.”
Note that according to the same Republic Act, the processing of sensitive personal information and privileged information shall be prohibited subject to exceptions as provided for by law.
Given the limitations as to the lawful processing of personal information, what then can employers process when conducting background checking? First, is personal information. This includes basic details of the applicant, such as name, address, and contact information. Educational background can also be looked into, such as through the submission of the transcript of records from the school or university that the applicant graduated from. Another common information that is being looked into by employers is the applicant’s criminal record, which can be looked into by the submission of an NBI clearance. Health checks are also another aspect that employers can look into to gauge the fitness of an employee to work. It can also be used to look into any drug related history of the applicant. If the employee used to be employed in another company, or has any prior work experience, a background check on one’s employment records can also be looked into to know about the applicant’s work ethics, duration and reason for leaving the previous company, and any other information that can gauge the performance of the applicant when it comes to the possible position being offered.
Need further information and assistance regarding a legal way to do a background check in the Philippines? Talk to our team at FilePino to know more about the requirements and process. Call us today at +63.917.892.2337 for more information.