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BPAP: Data privacy act will boost IT-BPO sector

(June 14, 2012—Manila, Philippines)—The Data Privacy Act, when signed into law by President Benigno S. Aquino III, will boost investment in the fast-growing IT-BPO industry according to the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP).

The proposed act, which is based on standards set by the European Parliament and is aligned with the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Information Privacy Framework, is intended to protect the integrity and confidentiality of personal data. “The act will increase confidence among international investors and companies that outsource business processes to the Philippines,” said Benedict Hernandez, BPAP president and CEO, “because it brings the Philippines to international standards of privacy protection.”

According to Benedict, the Philippines’ IT-BPO industry is evolving rapidly with the result that an increasing amount of the work undertaken in the Philippines involves non-voice, complex services in a wide range of functional areas and industry verticals. “Complex services already account for over 30% of industry revenues, and these services are growing more rapidly than voice services,” he said.

“Much of this work involves confidential personal and company information, and client firms of our IT-BPOs want to know that the Philippines provides international standards of protection to safeguard their information,” Benedict said. That assurance will further enhance the competitiveness of the industry, according to Benedict, an important requisite to sustaining growth, particularly in non-voice, complex services.

The House of Representatives and the Senate ratified the bi-cameral conference committee report which reconciled House Bill 4115 and Senate Bill 2965 earlier this month, and forwarded the proposed act to Malacañang earlier this month. The act mandates the creation of a National Privacy Commission under the Department of Transportation and Communications.

Bendict expects the act to be signed into law soon. “Congress and the administration have been extremely supportive of the industry, and acknowledge its role as an important generator of both direct and indirect jobs. Everything we do as a nation to strengthen the industry contributes to increased investment, job generation, and high-value services,” he said. “The data privacy act is one of those things.

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

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