Manila, Philippines – The National Association of Data Protection Officers of the Philippines, or NADPOP, an organization in the country for data privacy and protection, has announced a training and certification program for Filipino micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) on data privacy and protection fundamentals to help them manage the privacy of their customers online and offline.

The program, which equates to ₱3.8M in total value, is specifically targeted to members of BounceBack PH (BBPH), a movement that started on Facebook and was created during the onset of the pandemic to help entrepreneurs, front-liners, and disadvantaged communities in their recovery from the crisis. Currently, it has more than 70,000 members with industry verticals communities and regional and city-based groups.

NADPOP, which is a non-profit organization that serves and protects Data Protection Officers (DPO) in the Philippines, will work together with BBPH to identify a total of 100 recipients of the program and will make the announcement in the coming weeks. Each of the scholarships is worth at least ₱38,000 based on commercial rates. 

NADPOP together with BBPH partner, Bluepoint Foundation, a non-profit open-source education & development center, will be providing the eLearning infrastructure for the program.

According to Sam Jacoba, NADPOP’s founding president, most MSMEs have less than five full-time employees, making the training program a top necessity for businesses’ online transformation journey.

“The shift of businesses online has exponentially increased the reach of MSMEs which brought a lot of opportunities, but at the same time, this increased the risk of their customer databases being breached by hackers,” said Jacoba. 

NADPOP will be conducting four classes with 25 participants each. Primarily, the scholarships will be given to active members of BBPH and its communities. Those that are deemed qualified for the program are those that have an ongoing business, are currently financially-challenged, are diligent with their business requirements, and are ultimately those that are seen to implement what they will learn from the course. 

Once participants have finished the course, they will have to take a certification exam, and once passed, will gain a Data Privacy Specialist certification valid for two years.

“We welcome this generous support to our MSME members from NADPOP as now more than ever, protecting the personal information of customers should be top of mind of all entrepreneurs going online,” commented Jason Dela Rosa, founder of BBPH

“We also welcome the scholarships that NADPOP is going to provide to our members who will not be able to afford the training especially during this time of the pandemic. We thank NADPOP for responding to the call of the Digital Bayanihan Initiative of BBPH, which aims to help our members be better than ever and shine through the pandemic,” added Dela Rosa. 

BBPH members who won’t be selected for the 100 scholarship grants can still avail of NADPOP’s Data Privacy training and certification program which will be afforded on a competitive rate exclusive to active members of the community. All participants of the program will then be part of a ‘Community of Practice’ of data privacy and protection practitioners, whom they can consult with as they continue with their online transformation efforts.