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New data privacy bill to bolster IT-BPO industry

MANILA, Aug. 29 — The newly signed Data Privacy act is expected to strengthen the Information Technology and Business Process Outsourcing (IT-BPO) industry, by making Philippine legislation in line with International Data Privacy Standards, according to officials from the Information and Communications Technology Office of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-ICTO).

DOST-ICTO Executive Director Louis Casambre said that; “This measure will enable us to replicate our success in call centers in to other BPO segments such as healthcare outsourcing and HR outsourcing, where sensitive data is involved. We see this Act as keystone legislation that will strengthen our country’s position as a leader in IT-BPO. We laud the efforts of Congressional Commission on Science & Technology and Engineering (COMSTE) Chaired by Senator Angara, as well as the House ICT Committee headed by Congressman Freddie Tiñga for successfully passing this legislation which industry has been clamoring for.”Republic Act 10173, or the Data Privacy Act of 2012, which was signed by President Aquino on 15 August 2012, makes the Philippines compliant with international data security standards, putting in place measures to protect and preserve the integrity, security and confidentiality of personal data collected by government and private entities in their operations.

Alejandro Melchor III Deputy Executive Director for ICT Industry Development added that; “The new law will help us sustain our momentum as an emerging global leader for shared services, one of the fastest growing segments of the IT-BPO industry. There are indications the market is selecting the Philippines as the preferred destination for this segment.

The local IT-BPO Industry was equally enthused about the signing of the bill; Benedict Hernandez, Business Processing Association of the Philippines (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 is an important first step,” Hernandez said, “to ensuring competitiveness of the IT-BPO industry.”

RA 10173 also creates the National Privacy Commission under the Office of the President that will enforce the law, receive complaints, set investigations and impose requisite sanctions. (PNA)

LAM/PR/EBP

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