Bills to make BPO sector more attractive pushed
The House of Representatives is working on the passage of bills that will make the country’s business process outsourcing sector even more attractive to potential investors.
House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. related that the Data Privacy Act, one of the measures that the information technology and BPO sectors have been pushing for years, had been approved on third reading.
Due to the nature of the BPO industry, which usually involves the handling of sensitive data, having a law that actually protected companies from data breaches was very important.
According to the Business Processing Association of the Philippines, the passage of the Data Privacy Act would help make the country a more attractive investment destination for companies looking to offshore some of their functions.
Research firm Gartner last year downgraded its rating of the Philippines’ global and legal maturity from “good” to “fair.”
“Enforcement of laws with regard to data, intellectual property and privacy protection, and legal maturity continues to be an adoption barrier for using a number of low-cost countries despite country governments taking action to improve the policies and regulations in these areas,” Gartner said in a study released last year.
Apart from the Data Privacy Act, Belmonte said members of the Lower House also approved on second reading a bill creating the Department of Information and Communications Technology, another law crucial to the advancement of the BPO industry.
“The approval of the DICT bill on second reading at the Lower House is another attraction and positive signal to investors in the (information technology and business process outsourcing) industry,” BPAP executive director for external affairs Martin Crisostomo had said.
“More importantly, it is a big step to having a dedicated department for the industry, which would be instrumental in achieving our goal of creating 800,000 new jobs in the next five years,” he added.
The Anti-Cybercrime Act had also recently passed the committee level and was on its way to be calendared at plenary.
“These measures should deter online fraud, hacking, and computer sabotage, among others. Moreover, together with the removal of the prohibition of nightwork for women, which has already been enacted into law, these proposed pieces of legislation should further promote the expansion of our BPO sector,” Belmonte said.
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