Press Release
September 27, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara is calling for an upgrade of data privacy policies in the Philippines to be at par with global standards.

The Data Privacy Act, which Angara sponsored on the Senate floor last week, aims to establish regulations that adhere to the privacy framework as presecribed by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).

"The Data Privacy Act was crafted to protect information in the Philippines without imposing undue constraints on the information technology (IT) sector," said Angara, who chairs the Senate Committee on Science and Technology. "The APEC privacy framework is very flexible, and will allow us to effectively implement such privacy regulations, without hindering the growth of the business processing industry."

Angara is confident that the passage of the measure will help protect Filipinos' personal information, which are constantly at risk with the increasing use and convenience of web technology. The Philippines was one of 22 countries that suffered data breach in 2010, according to the United States' Verizon Risk Team.

Once implemented, the measure is expected to bolster the information technology-business process outsourcing (IT-BPO) industry by creating an environment conducive to international business transactions.

The Data Privacy Act provides a framework for the compliance of Filipino companies with international standards for web security and privacy. An example of this is the United States' Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act [HIPAA] of 1996, which local BPO companies must comply with before entering into service contracts with US clients.

Last year, the IT-BPO industry in the Philippines made record revenues of US$9 billion--or 4.7 percent of gross domestic product (GDP)--a huge boost from US$ 3.3 billion in 2006. This paved the way for the creation of 525,000 jobs, and another 1.312 million more jobs in related industries. The figures are expected to climb to 640,000 in direct jobs, 1.6 million indirect jobs by the end of 2011.

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