THE Philippines has applied to join the Cross-Border Privacy Rules (CBPR) system to adopt privacy standards in order to ease data exchange across the Asia-Pacific, the National Privacy Commission (NPC) said in a statement Friday.
The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CBPR is a voluntary certification mechanism that allows member companies to safely transfer data across APEC economies.
“When businesses become CBPR-certified, they may then transfer personal data in a safe and seamless manner across other certified companies operating in the APEC region, which accounts for about half of global trade. For Philippine companies, this means gaining entry to a much larger market at reduced compliance costs with respect to cross-border data transfers,” Privacy Commissioner Raymund E. Liboro said.
NPC last month submitted the Philippines’ letter of intent to join the system ahead of a meeting by the Electronic Commerce Steering Group (ECSG) in Puerto Varas, Chile.
The Philippines needs to nominate at least one accountability agent to ensure that its certifications are recognized in all member jurisdictions.
NPC said compliance offers both a competitive advantage among companies with the certification as well as trust from their consumers. To help companies gain consumer trust, the CBPR requires them to adopt transparency and a streamlined customer complaint process.
Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez in his endorsement letter emphasized how this certification can boost links between Philippine and global companies.
“This would provide our micro, small and medium enterprises opportunities for growth by gaining access across APEC markets and participating in global supply chains which rely on the free movement of data across borders,” he said.
ECSG Chairperson Shannon Coe expects the CBPR certification to improve Philippine-US relations.
“US companies rely on the favorable market and skilled workforce in the Philippines to process data throughout the Asia-Pacific region. The Philippines’ participation in the CBPR System will strengthen the business case for U.S. companies looking to invest in the Philippines, through our bilateral commercial relationship,” she said.
After approval from the Joint Oversight Panel, the Philippines will be the ninth economy to formally join the APEC CBPR, after the US, Japan, Canada, South Korea, Singapore, Mexico, Australia, and Chinese Taipei. — Jenina P. Ibañez