Press Release
September 18, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara underscored the importance of safeguarding personal data used and stored in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) systems for the Philippines to become a stronger player in the global IT-BPO industry.

Angara, Chair of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, made the statement as the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP) called for the immediate passage of the Data Privacy Act.

"ICT has empowered us to utilize, process and analyze large amounts of data for various purposes. In that respect, ICT has liberated our businesses and our government agencies. But rolling out these systems comes with serious privacy implications. A policy framework needs to be in place to define the limits of these newfound freedoms," said the veteran lawmaker.

HB 4115 or the Data Privacy Act of 2011 approved by the Lower House provides for broad privacy guidelines governing how electronic data should be used, shared and stored, incorporating key principles laid out in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Privacy Framework.

Angara, Chair of the Congressional Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering (COMSTE), is scheduled to sponsor the bill this coming week. The Senate version of the measure provides for the creation of a National Privacy Commission that will make sure ICT systems in the country comply with international standards set for data protection.

The Information Technology and Business Process Outsourcing (IT-BPO) industry has been a staunch supporter of the bill, claiming that its passage will cultivate investor trust and confidence.

Last year, the IT-BPO industry made record revenues of US$9 billion--or 4.7 percent of gross domestic product (GDP)�and created 525,000 direct jobs, as well as 1.312 million more jobs in ancillary industries.

Estimates for 2011 show that the IT-BPO industry will produce 640,000 direct jobs by yearend, as well as 1.6 million indirect jobs. Growth will reach 22 percent.

"Once the bill is passed, it will not only complement the gains made by the IT-BPO industry but also become the enabling environment for our e-governance initiatives to truly take flight," said Angara.

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