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BPAP applauds signing of Data Privacy Act into law

Says legislation should evolve with IT-BPO industry

(August 27, 2012—Manila, Philippines)—The signing into law of the Data Privacy Act as Republic Act 10173 is an important first step to increase confidence among international investors and their clients in the IT-BPO industry according to the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP).

President Benigno S. Aquino III signed the act into law August 15. It requires the protection and preservation of personal data collected by public agencies and private organizations.

Benedict Hernandez, BPAP president and CEO, said Republic Act 10173 “brings the Philippines to international standards of privacy protection.” The act is based on standards set by the European Parliament and is aligned with the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Information Privacy Framework. “As Senator Edgardo Angara said last week, Republic Act 10173 in an important first step,” Hernandez said, “to ensuring competitiveness of the IT-BPO industry.”

Angara and House of Representatives ICT Committee chairman Sigfrido Tiñga co-chair the Congressional Commission on Science and Technology and Engineering, and were the primary proponents of the Data Privacy Act in Congress. “Because the IT-BPO industry and best practice is evolving rapidly, enhancements to existing legislation will ensure that the Philippines remains competitive and in fact leads breakthrough initiatives in best practices for the industry,” Hernandez said.

In a statement, Angara acknowledged that legislation supporting the IT-BPO industry will continue to develop with the industry, citing as an example the importance of balancing the free flow of information with privacy rights. He also said the Cybercrime Prevention Act should be enacted to provide “a legal framework for the detection, apprehension, and prosecution of such Internet-related crimes as hacking, identity theft, phishing, spamming,” and other crimes.

The Data Privacy Act mandates the creation of a National Privacy Commission under the Department of Transportation and Communications. Although signed into law, Angara said implementation requires training of experts and development of implementing rules and regulations. “The greater challenge lies in its implementation and enforcement,” Angara said of the act and its intended impact on the IT-BPO industry and other sectors.

“Congress and the administration have been extremely supportive of the industry, and recognize its role as an important generator of well-paying direct and indirect jobs for Filipinos. Everything we do as a nation to strengthen the industry contributes to increased investment, accelerated job generation, and continued development into an industry characterized by the high-value, high-quality services we deliver to the world,” Hernandez said.

According to BPAP, the IT-BPO industry generated $11 billion in revenues in 2011, and employed approximately 640,000 direct employees.

About BPAP
The Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP) is the umbrella association for the IT-BPO and GIC (Global In-House Center) industry in the Philippines. BPAP serves as the one-stop information and advocacy gateway for the industry. With approximately 300 industry and support-industry members, including five associations, BPAP plays a pivotal role in sustaining rapid growth of the IT-BPO and GIC industry by working to ensure an enduring supply of high quality labor, supporting service innovation, and providing country visibility.

BPAP assists investors in setting up operations easily and quickly in the Philippines. Relevant research, introductions to key government and industry officials, and a series of briefings at each step of the investment process ensure a seamless development process. On-going support is provided through a wide variety of initiatives, including programs for HR development, business development, and on-going knowledge sharing and networking opportunities.