Philippines greenlights data protection law

President Benigno Aquino III signs "Data Privacy Act of 2012" into being, which enforces the protection of personal data collected by private and public sectors and enhances the country's business process outsourcing industry.

Philippines President Benigno Aquino III has signed the country's Data Privacy Act of 2012 into law, thus enforcing the protection of personal data collected by private and public sectors and enhancing the appeal of its IT and business process outsourcing (BPO) industries.

In a report Thursday, the GMA News reported the president signed the Act, also known as Republic Act 10173, into law last Wednesday to help preserve people's personal information.

The new law states: "The State recognizes the vital role of information and communications technology (ICT) in nation-building and its inherent obligation to ensure that personal information in information and communications systems in the government and in the private sector are secured and protected."

Along with the new law is the creation of the National Privacy Commission, which will administer and implement the Act as well as ensure the country complies with international standards for data protection.

The legislation was approved by the Senate of the Phillippines in March 2012. According to GMA News, the Senate's science committee chairman, Edgardo Angara, said then the data privacy law will boost the country's BPO industry.

With the data protection law in place, Angara said the BPO industry will bring in projected revenues of US$25 billion by 2016, up from US$9 billion in 2011. It will also increase job openings from about 1 million to 4 million positions in the next four years, the report added.

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