The Business Processing Association of the Philippines expects more investments in the business process outsourcing industry, once President Benigno Aquino III signs the Data Privacy Act into law.
The proposed law requires government and private entities to protect the integrity, security and confidentiality of personal records.
“The act will increase confidence among international investors and companies that outsource business processes to the Philippines… because it brings the Philippines to international standards of privacy protection,” BPAP president and chief executive Benedict Hernandez said in a statement.
The House of Representatives and the Senate had ratified the bicameral conference committee report which reconciled House Bill No. 4115 and Senate Bill No. 2965. The bill was submitted for the President’s signature.
The proposed law, which is based on standards set by the European Parliament and is aligned with the Asia- Pacific Economic Cooperation Information Privacy Framework, seeks to protect the integrity and confidentiality of personal data.
Media groups, however, had opposed provisions in the bill that threatened to penalize journalists for breaches of confidentiality. Senator Edgardo Angara, a proponent of the bill, later withdrew the controversial provision.
Section 5 of the approved Data Privacy Act provides further protection to the media by stating that no provision in the law can be interpreted as to have amended or appealed Republic Act No. 53, which exempts publishers, editors or reporters of any publication from revealing their sources of information.
“Much of this work involves confidential personal and company information, and client firms of our IT-BPOs want to know that the Philippines provides international standards of protection to safeguard their information,” Hernandez said.