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Data Privacy Act to Increase PHL Global BPO Position

by: Mary Christine Galang

Monday, July 24, 2017 | Outsourcing News |

The Data Privacy Act of 2012, or Republic Act 10173, will significantly increase the Philippines' position as one of the most preferred destinations for business process outsourcing (BPO) in the world, according to the Contact Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP).

Espie Bulseco, Learning Series Task Force lead of the CCAP Security Council, said that the Data Privacy Act will mandate all BPO firms in the country "to ensure protection to personal data resulting to an increase in foreign investors' confidence in growing their outsourcing requirements."

All BPO companies are required to comply with RA 10173 and are given a timeline to register with the NPC on or before Sept. 9, 2017, or one year from the effectivity of the implementing rules and regulations of the law.

Data Privacy Act to strengthen BPO capabilities

This will strengthen and increase the capability to handle outsourcing requirements of countries that have their own data privacy laws that restrict transfer of data of their residents outside their region unless the offshore provider is based in a country with existing privacy laws, which the Philippines have in place.

In addition, CCAP said that the Philippine government is fully enacting the law to ensure BPO firms will comply with the cyber security and data privacy regulations to safeguard user information.

To further strengthen the implementation of the Act, CCAP has come up with several measures that include data privacy, cyber security, and governance-related issues and practices to update the BPO industry.

According to Tonichi Achurra-Parekh, CCAP board director and trustee for CCAP Security Council, "The industry has been playing an active role in educating our members through forums as well as answering data privacy-related issues in some of our conferences."

This includes organizing one of Asia's biggest data privacy summits, the recently concluded Data Privacy Asia 2017, which was held on July 20, 2017, at Makati Shangri-La Manila.

"The summit is in response to that growing need to educate and also accelerate our expertise in our industry," Achurra-Parekh said.

CCAP president Jojo Uligan said that the summit’s objective is to position the Philippines as the "best-in-class" when it comes to guideline implementation and upholding data protection and privacy, given the amount of data that goes through BPO firms in the country.

"Part of the objective is to communicate the trends and the threat landscape on cybersecurity when processing millions of data, and to establish the Philippines as a country with advanced data protection and privacy regulations to address these threats, ultimately to make the world entrust their business data with us," Uligan said.

The summit also focused on global perspectives as international experts discussed the best practices and creative solutions concerning data privacy and cyber security issues to apply in the country.

Additional initiatives include supporting, aligning, and rolling out programs related to the BPO industry, with the help of the National Privacy Commission (NPC) through its head and chairman Raymond Liboro.

CCAP has also been briefed on the NPC’s short- and long-term projects and is expected to continue to see the support through in implementation and guidelines.

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