A bicameral conference committee is set to finalize Senate Bill 2965, or the Data Privacy Act, before presenting it to both houses for ratification later this week, Manila Standard Today reports. The legislation has been criticized by journalists because of a provision that would make it illegal for journalists to publish "leaked" information. Under the provision, a journalist could face up to a five-year jail sentence or a P2 million fine for "breach of confidentiality..." Sen. Edgardo Angara, the bill's sponsor, said the bill "will not curtail the public's right to information, especially on matters of public interest." According to a journalist union spokeswoman, Angara has pledged to remove the penalty clauses before ratification.
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