Press Release
June 8, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara said that the government needs to swiftly boost the country's competitiveness in the digital information age through the creation of the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) and the adoption of data privacy laws.

The country's business process outsourcing (BPO) industry can bring in more money than remittances from overseas Filipino workers by 2016, said the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP) during the recent hearing of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology which Angara chairs.

Angara stressed that key pieces of legislation will be needed to sustain the growth of the country's BPO industry. These include safeguarding sensitive personal data and having a single ICT-dedicated government entity to implement strategies for competitiveness.

The Philippines' BPO sector is currently worth US$9 billion and employs about half a million Filipinos. BPAP said that based on modest estimates, it has the potential to grow to US$26 billion by 2016, employing 1.3 million people. Remittances stood at approximately US$18.8 billion in 2010.

Angara said that all of the government's ICT-related functions should be consolidated into one agency. Otherwise, there would be a lack of focus and efforts to support the industry would be disjointed.

"A dedicated DICT will streamline the implementation of functions and prevent confusion in the industry. BPO companies won't have to jump around from agency to agency looking for the right government office to liaise with," he added.

The Joint Foreign Chambers of the Philippines (JFC) has also thrown its support behind the creation of the DICT, which they said would become a one-stop shop for the ICT sector.

Additionally, the National Economic and Development Authority recommends the creation of the DICT under the Medium Term Philippine Development Plan, according to Angara, who is also the chair of the Congressional Commission on Science Technology and Engineering (COMSTE).

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