Data Privacy Statement of SEARCA

SEARCA respects your privacy. All personal information that we collect and handle are managed with utmost care and confidentiality for the sole purpose for which the information was provided to us. As part of our desire to serve you in our best capacity, we have set this statement for transparency and for your complete awareness of all purposes and processes that involve your personal information, provided to us via online and/or offline.

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General Information About Data Privacy Act

Republic Act No. 10173 known as the Data Privacy Act (DPA) of 2012, was enacted in August 2012. In August 2016, the National Privacy Commission (NPC) issued the Rules and Regulations Implementing the DPA (DPA IRR), which provides the guidelines on the implementation of the DPA, along with other issuances of the NPC. Please be informed that the SEARCA shall process the personal information and sensitive personal information (collectively known as Personal Data) of its Data Subjects in the course of its business relationship pursuant to the general principles of transparency, legitimate purpose, and proportionality as stated in the DPA.

Overview of the Data Privacy Statement

This Data Privacy Statement explains how we collect, use, protect and retain your Personal Data. We locate your probable role for each itemized provision for you to fully understand and grasp the extent of how we prioritize transparency, your rights as data subject, and the safety of your Personal Data in the Center.

Collection of Personal Data

SEARCA affirms its commitment to protect all Personal Data we collect. These are used as reference to improve our services. In doing so, we may directly or indirectly collect your personal information such as name, address, place of work, contact information, , current location, IP address, and birthplace and your country of citizenship. We may, in some services and operations, collect your sensitive personal information such as gender/sex, birthdate, race and/or ethnic origin, marital status, age, health related information, religious affiliation, educational background, social security number, bank related information and other personal information issued by the government.

Purposes and Uses of Your Personal Data

We collect your Personal Data for the specified purposes and uses only with your consent in our official processes and operations to offer you better, yet secured services.

Once the personal information we collected from you are available, we use them in our processes and operations as laid out in details below:

  1. For those applying for job posts –
    1. to check the applicant's qualification based on submitted documents;
    2. to communicate with the applicant during the screening process; and
    3. to conduct background check through character reference from previous employers.
  2. As an applicant for scholarship or grant program –
    1. to assess if the applicant meet the general eligibility criteria of SEARCA scholarships; and
    2. to contact the applicant to confirm receipt of information, request additional information, schedule scholarship interview/evaluation, and other forms of communication necessary to administer the scholarship/grant application, evaluation, and awarding process.
  3. As a SEARCA scholar –
    1. to disclose your personal data to the college or university of your choice for the processing of your study post;
    2. to remit scholarship benefits thru your bank account details you provide us;
    3. to retain your personal information after clearance for the purpose of extending invitations to learning events and other activities conducted/organized/co-organized/endorsed by the Center; and
    4. to include your name, degree, study post, and type of scholarship in articles disseminating your accomplishments and activities related to your studies.
  4. As a grantee (Professorial Chair and UC grantees) –
    1. to retain your personal information for the purpose of extending invitations to learning events and other activities conducted/organized/co-organized/endorsed by the Center;
    2. to remit grant thru your bank account details you provide us; and
    3. to include your name, academic, and professional background in articles announcing the awarding of your grant.
  5. As employed or engaged by SEARCA –
    1. to facilitate personnel action documents related to the employment or engagement such as but not limited to appointment letter or contract, clearance, certification, benefits related claims or payments; and
    2. to maintain records of your appointment(s) or contract(s).
  6. As a donor/partner – to facilitate communication and sharing of project and financial information during the course of our agreement.
  7. As a SEARCA trainee –
    1. to use your personal data in the preparation of certificate of attendance in completion of attended course/trainings, for contacting you for future events, and for evaluation and other post-workshop documents as needed; and
    2. to use photo/video/audio documentation related to your participation in learning events in Center-generated reports, documents, publications, news articles, and audio-video productions for educational and program promotional purposes
  8. As a website visitor –
    1. to verify that the visitors of our site are humans not a computer bot;
    2. to send newsletters and communication to subscribers of our publications;
    3. to identify you and the country you are from;
    4. to ship hardcopy publications you ordered; and
    5. for the Center's web developers to give you more personal and convenient website visits. Collected cookies let our website remember you, your website logins, shopping carts (for publications) and more.
  9. As authors of our publications –
    1. for communication along the various stages of the review/publication process;
    2. for verification of originality of submissions to rule out plagiarism; and
    3. for complete author profile required in the event of acceptance for publication/external indexing.
  10. As publication reviewer –
    1. for verification of expertise and minimum qualification to review; and
    2. for engagement as reviewer/referee of submissions to the Asian Journal of Agriculture and Development (AJAD) papers.
  11. As a transient guest – to facilitate your registration with us as our guest in our hotel facilities as well as facilitate your appointment and communication during your stay in our facilities.
  12. As a resident or lessee – to process your residency or lease contract.
  13. As a supplier and service provider – to process your accreditation with us as part of our pool of suppliers, in communication with you before and after procurement of your goods and services as necessary; we use your organizations' information in the preparation of purchase documents like the canvass sheet, purchase order and processing of payment as well as transacting with the bank for the transfer of our payment to your bank accounts.
  14. As a bidder – to communicate with you during and after the bidding process.
  15. As a visitor – to use the personal information when you log in, as reference only in case of emergency and any other lawful purposes as deemed necessary for the protection of lives and property for the best interest of the Center.

Data Sharing

We may share your Personal Data — including, but not limited to your name, address, place of work, contact information, gender/sex, current location, IP address, birthdate and birthplace and your country of citizenship, race and/or ethnic origin, marital status, age, health related information, religious affiliation, educational background, social security number, bank related information and other personal information issued by the government — with colleges, universities, affiliates, service providers, or third-party recipients only for the purposes described under this Data Privacy Statement. The identities of affiliated companies or service providers or third-party recipients shall be provided upon request.

Your Rights (Chapter V, Section 16 of DPA 2012)

As a data subject, you have the following rights when it comes to your Personal Data:

  1. Right to be informed of your rights concerning the collection, use and processing, storing and destruction of your Personal Data.
  2. Right to object from giving or disclosing your Personal Data for purposes other than what is required and necessary to complete our transaction and provide you with services that you require of us.
  3. Right of reasonable access to your Personal Data upon written request when your Personal Data were processed and or modified or subjected to automated processing which may significantly affect you.
  4. Right to correct any error in your Personal Data.
  5. Right to file a complaint when your Personal Data is compromised, shared or unauthorizedly disclosed.
  6. Right to damages for any misuse, mishandling, or unlawful use of your Personal Data.
  7. Right to erasure or blocking of your Personal Data when you see fit that there is no more use of your Personal Data being stored of kept.
  8. Transmissibility of Rights-your heir or family member can act in your behalf to exercise your right in connection with your Personal Data in case of your incapacity to do so.

Retention and Disposal of Your Personal Data

Your personal information are securely kept by our authorized staff for a definite period as prescribed in detail in accordance with our Records Management Policy as part of our SEARCA Manual of Policies and Procedures (SMPP).

Access to, Rectification, and Erasure or Blocking of Your Personal Data

As a Data Subject, you have the right to reasonable access to your Personal Data collected by the Center. Specifically, you have the right to reasonable access to the following information:

  1. Contents of your Personal Data that were processed;
  2. Sources from which Personal Data were obtained;
  3. Names and addresses of recipients of the Personal Data;
  4. Manner by which such Personal Data were processed;
  5. Reasons for the disclosure of the Personal Data to recipients, if any;
  6. Information on automated processes where the Personal Data will, or is likely to, be made as the sole basis for any decision that significantly affects or will affect the data subject;
  7. Date when your Personal Data were last accessed and modified; and
  8. The designation and address of the Center.

You also have the right to dispute the inaccuracy or error in the Personal Data and may have the Center correct it immediately and accordingly, unless the request is vexatious or otherwise unreasonable.

Finally, you also have the right to suspend, withdraw, or order the blocking, removal, or destruction of your Personal Data from the Center's filing system under the following circumstances:

  1. The Personal Data is incomplete, outdated, false, or unlawfully obtained;
  2. The Personal Data is being used for purpose not authorized by the data subject;
  3. The Personal Data is no longer necessary for the purposes for which they were collected;
  4. The data subject withdraws consent or objects to the processing, and there is no other legal ground or overriding legitimate interest for the processing;
  5. The Personal Data concerns private information that is prejudicial to data subject, unless justified by freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press or otherwise authorized;
  6. The processing is unlawful; and
  7. The Center or its processors violated the rights of the data subject.

To exercise these rights, you may execute a written request to the Center, addressed to the Data Privacy Officer (DPO) indicating specific data privacy concerns.

Our Responsibility to Safeguard Your Personal Data

SEARCA maintains technical and organizational safeguards in accordance with industry standard to protect your Personal Data against unauthorized collection, use, disclosure, access, destruction, and alteration. We employ several physical and electronic safeguards to keep your information safe in our systems. We use browser encryption, we store data on servers in secured facilities, and we implement systematic processes and procedures for securing and storing data. Furthermore, we conduct regular monitoring of access logs and continuously train our employees on cybersecurity. We likewise limit access to your Personal Data to only those with authorized access who need to know the information in order to perform their duties and responsibilities.

While we strive to protect your Personal Data, we cannot ensure the security of the information you transmit to us via internet or electronic communication or when you use electronic devices. We encourage you to take the necessary precautions to protect your Personal Data when using said platforms, because no method of transmission over the Internet, and no means of electronic or physical storage, is absolutely secure. Thus, we cannot fully guarantee the security of that information.

Changes in the Data Privacy

SEARCA may update this Data Privacy Statement to ensure consistency of compliance with future developments and changes in relevant laws and regulations applicable to us or how we collect, use, process, store, share or retain your personal information. Any updates will be posted on our website, and we will inform you of any significant change or amendment to this Data Privacy Statement. It shall be your responsibility to periodically review this Data Privacy Statement and all other applicable policies published on the Center's website for any revisions.

Data Privacy Concerns

For any queries, clarifications, requests, or feedback on any section of this Data Privacy Statement, in the exercise of your rights pertaining to your Personal Data, you may email our Data Privacy Officer, Charles Van Miraflores at .