Bills introduced to make BPO sector more attractive in Philippines

Philippines, October 24, 2011- Bills are underway in the House of Representatives which are intended to make the Business Process Outsourcing industry more attractive for the investors in Philippines.  The BPO industry is the largest employment provider in Philippines. The industry has grown by 26 per cent during 2010. A total of 525,000 people are employed in the BPO industry, with an employment growth of 24 per cent.  

According to the speaker of the house, Feliciano Belmonte JR, the Data privacy Act which was the most sought by the information technology sector and the BPO sector has been approved by the house. The bill was required by the BPO industry to prevent breach of sensitive which is being handled by the BPO companies. BPO companies usually handle large amount of sensitive data.

The Business processing association of the Philippines has said that the approval of the Data Privacy act will make the BPO industry more secure and that it will bring in more investment to Philippines form companies which plan to outsource some of their functions.

Last year, a study conducted by Gartner, a leading research firm has ranked Philippines as “fair” in terms of global and legal maturity. During the previous year the same research firm had ranked Philippines as “good”.

One of the important adoption barriers that countries face in selecting destinations for outsourcing is the lack of laws in terms of data protection, intellectual property protection and legal maturity. This was published in the study carried out by Gartner, which says that this still remains a factor even though governments in such countries take necessary steps to improve the policies and regulations.

In addition to the Data privacy Act, the representatives in the lower house has given approval for the second reading of a bill which is intended to create a Department of Information and Communications Technology, which will help the BPO industry advance further.

According to Martin Crisostomo, executive director at Business Processing Association of Philippines, the second reading of the bill is a welcome step which will make the BPO industry in Philippines even more attractive and it conveys a positive signal to the investors. He also said that creating a department for a sector which plans to employ 800,000 workers will strengthen the industry.

Another milestone was the passing of the Anti-Cyber crime Act.

Belmonte suggests that these steps should help in preventing hacking, online fraud and sabotage. The removal of prohibition for women to work in night shift together with the proposed bill will help in expanding the BPO sector.

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