BPAP asks House to ‘work double-time’ on Cybercrime bill

The Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP) has called on the House of Representatives to hasten the passage of the Cybercrime bill after the Senate approved its version of the measure last week.

BPAP Chairman Alfredo Ayala

The BPAP is the biggest organization of the BPO firms in the country.

“The industry is also anticipating that our congressmen led by House ICT Committee Chair Cong. Freddie Tinga will be working double-time on the House version of the bill,” Martin Crisostomo, BPAP legislative committee head, said in a statement.

He added, “We are confident that the bill will be passed into law before the present Congress adjourns as we believe that our President and law makers from both houses of Congress see the urgent need to update our constitution, in order to protect not only our industry but the Filipino people from cyber criminals and terrorists.”

The House version of the bill is now at the committee level and it can be scheduled for bi-cameral deliberations after the House passes the bill on final reading, the BPAP noted.

If approved on bi-cam, then the bill will be up for signature by the President, which would enact it into law, it added.

BPAP chairman Alfredo Ayala cited the Senate, led by Sen. Edgardo Angara, for shepherding the bill in the upper chamber.

“For an industry which is platformed on IT and the Internet, the bill will be a great help in securing the operations and transactions of our companies as they serve global clients,” Ayala said.

BPAP CEO Benedict Hernandez also stated, “The passage of the bill is a big boost to our industry’s efforts to achieve our 2016 goals of providing jobs to more than 4 million Filipinos (1.3 million direct, jobs and over 2.7 million indirect jobs) and $25 billion in export revenues. It will be one of the keys in providing our investors and customers with a sound business environment.”

Angara, for his part, also called for the swift passage of the measure, although he admitted the version passed by the Senate is still a “work in progress”.

He said, “I’ll be forthright and say that the version we have passed is still a work in progress. There are still a few steps that need to be taken. The bill will still have to undergo bicameral review, after it gets passed in the House.”

“People can still voice out their concerns and hopefully provide some constructive input. This is a hallmark not only of the openness of our legislative process, but also of how important close collaboration is in the crafting of good laws,” he said.

“I urge every stakeholder to participate so that we can make sure that our national cybercrime prevention policies truly reflect the interests of the Filipino people,” he concluded.

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