Press Release
March 27, 2012


Senator Edgardo J. Angara urged anew the swift enactment of two IT bills after an Australian television network recently reported that a Philippine-based call center is now under investigation in light of allegations that one of its agents offered to reduce a customer's bill in exchange for a small fee.

Angara, Chair of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, made the reiteration to boost the confidence of foreign locators and potential investors in the Philippine IT-BPO [Information Technology and Business Process Outsourcing] industry.

In a TV interview, Martin Crisostomo, external affairs director of the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPA/P), gave reassurances that the allegations point only to an isolated event and do not put into the question the overall security of the IT-BPO industry.

"Nonetheless, given that we have already been recognized as the world's contact center, all the more should we enshrine into public policy our commitment to protect all forms of data and combat cybercrimes," said the veteran lawmaker. "Unfortunately, our laws are still largely without teeth in this matter"

Angara, who is also Chair of the Congressional Commission on Science & Technology and Engineering (COMSTE), is the author and main sponsor of the Cybercrime Prevention Act (SBN 2796) and the Data Privacy Act (SBN 2965).

The Cybercrime Prevention Act lays down a comprehensive legal framework for the detection, investigation, apprehension, investigation and prosecution of such cybercrimes as hacking, internet fraud, data interference, identity theft and child pornography.

The Data Privacy Act mandates both public and private entities--such as an IT-BPO company--to protect the integrity and confidentiality of any personal information collected from their clients, in adherence to international standards of privacy.

The two measures have been approved in both the Senate and the House of Representatives, and have to undergo bicameral conference before transmitted to Malacanang and signed into law.

Angara concluded, "Of course, laws in themselves do not stop people from committing crimes. But with these measures in place, we give government the framework and the foundation for imparting the commensurate punishment. And this will be essential in sending the message to the rest of the world that the Philippines is serious about keeping its part of cyberspace safe."

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