A series of bills in the House of Representatives seeks to make the BPO industry in the Philippines, which includes call centers in the Philippines, more attractive to potential investors.

According to House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., among the bills already “moving” inside the House of Representatives are the Data Privacy Act, creation of the Department of Information and Communication Technology, and the Anti-Cyber Crime Act. These bills seeks to boost the position of offshoring Philippines.

The Data Privacy Act has already been approved for third reading. Information technology and BPO sectors have already been pushing the passage of this law due to the usage of sensitive data of these industries. Having a law that protects IT companies from data breaches is important.

According to the Business Processing Association of the Philippines, the passage of the Data Privacy Act would also help make the country a more attractive investment destination for companies looking to offshore in the Philippines.

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.

“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 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.