BPO sector welcomes cybercrime law

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The country’s business process outsourcing (BPO) industry, which is gearing up for a 20 percent growth this year, cheered the recent passage of landmark laws designed to protect individuals and industries that rely on data usage.

“We’re supportive of data privacy and cybercrime laws. It’s good to have rules and regulations on risks,” Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP) president Benedict Hernandez said Monday on the sidelines of the Philippine Economic Briefing.

President Aquino recently signed the new Data Privacy Act (Republic Act No. 10173) and the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

The former requires public and private enterprises to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of personal information collected in the course of their operations.

The latter, on the other hand, defines cybercrime and provides for the prevention, investigation and imposition of penalties related to such acts.

With greater protection of data assured, the IT-BPO sector is confident that it will grow further in 2012.

Hernandez reported during the briefing that mid- to large-sized companies expect to expand their operations this year.

Of them, about 52 percent expect 15 percent revenue growth, he said.

The Philippines is the top location for contact centers and the sector is expected to growth faster than the forecasted 15 percent.

IT, corporate services, healthcare and other nonvoice services are expected to grow even faster at 41 percent.

Overall, the BPO industry in the Philippines is up for a 20-percent year-on-year growth given diversified offerings and new markets, maintained competitiveness and incentives, Hernandez said.

Improvements on infrastructure, sustained regulatory environment and ease of doing business, efforts to address perceived country risk issues and improved country marketing also help the BPO industry grow despite the strong peso and other challenges, Hernandez said.

He said BPO operations in the Philippines were 20 percent more expensive than in India and recent record highs in the peso-dollar exchange rate was a concern for exporters.

The BPO industry, meanwhile, is also ramping up human resource development through scholarships and partnerships with academic institutions to meet its growing demand for talent.

BPAP is the umbrella association for the IT-BPO and GIC (Global In-House Center) industry in the Philippines.

The services sector, which includes the BPO industry, is a major growth driver for the Philippine economy.

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