March 26, 2023

Moving beyond the crisis entails a wide range of development challenges and opportunities for the Philippines under the President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. administration.

While the investment-led, export-oriented, manufacturing, and agricultural approaches offer viable and effective solutions to financial problems, digitalization is the particular critical enabler for recovery and sustainable growth. The use associated with digital technology offers much more in terms of speed, efficiency, and reach.

Cognizant of the unlimited possibilities at hand, President Marcos Jr., in three of his 19 priority bills, emphasize the need for digital transformation, i. e., the E-Government Act, E-Governance Law, plus the Internet Transactions Act.

For Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Secretary Ivan John Uy, recovery and competitiveness can be accomplished through digitalization. In his goal associated with achieving e-governance, avoiding plus minimizing opportunities for corruption, connecting remote communities, providing e-commerce platforms for MSMEs, the accelerated implementation from the National Broadband Plan, robust cybersecurity, and implementing a harmonized policy and digital transformation strategy are key objectives in the DICT’s agenda.

In the administration’s 2022-2028 Medium-Term Fiscal Framework (MTFF), the headline goals when it comes to real gross domestic product, single-digit poverty rate, national government deficit, national government debt-to-GDP ratio, and gross national income can be realized in a digital economy.

Doing business through online platforms plus undertaking commercial transactions have expanded the particular retail and business landscape of the country beyond imagination. To a large extent as well, social interactions have gone online. Differences in time plus space have been negotiated through digital systems.

However, the responsiveness from the digital program of the particular Marcos Jr. administration will be the defining indicator of whether digitalization can lead to the creation of a strong digital economy.

Seemingly, the current authorities spells out the use of electronic technology in order to help the government achieve its headline goals and implement the socioeconomic agenda. In the area of social protection, enhancing public services, and financial inclusion, the rollout of the particular National ID System (PhilSys) and the targeting of the marginalized population as beneficiaries will undoubtedly be hastened.

In education, the usage of digital learning platforms improves both the competencies of teachers plus students. Through blended modes of delivering education to varying environments of schools, there will be more resilience in order to disruptive events.

With regard to enhancing bureaucratic efficiency, digitalizing governance will certainly streamline federal government processes and open sharing from the country’s information plus data systems will greatly improve effectiveness of front-line public services and disaster response.

As to the development of more quality jobs, the MTFF pronounces that technology will be used to “expand physical and digital connectivity” by improving both physical and digital infrastructure. These are perceived in order to “improve access of the poor to basic services including water supply and sanitation, public transportation, affordable energy plus flood safety infrastructure, and improve climate resilience. ”

As recuperation cannot be attained without digitalization, there must be a lot more investments from government within financing the particular expansion plus improvement associated with network facilities aligning with ongoing private sector builds to expand internet services.

And while the basic demand of the particular population is having access to affordable broadband services, the federal government and telecommunications companies should collaborate inside speeding up the construction of sufficient telco towers. In turn, the policy environment must be conducive for domestic and foreign investments to be poured into strategic telecommunications system.

Nevertheless, harnessing the full power of digital technologies relies on the particular development associated with the country’s workforce potential. Optimizing the appropriate technology will need the constant upgrading of information technologies skillsets in order to enable Filipinos to thrive in the particular digital world.

On May 20, the Stratbase Albert del Rosario Institute published the book Beyond the Crisis: A Strategic Agenda for that Next President to highlight the particular digital difficulties for your new government.

Within its third section, themed “Governance, Health and Environment Plan, ” the chapter entitled “Digitalization Agenda 2022: Towards a Resilient Philippines Via Digital Transformation and Inclusion, ” authored by Sherwin E. Ona, Non-Resident Fellow of the particular institute, put forward key recommendations.

We must first craft a Philippine digitalization strategy and roadmap so that will “goals, phases and milestones in achieving digital change, addressing the digital divide and securing digital infrastructure” could be set.

Second, government must support the particular creation of communities associated with practice which will support the research and development as well as the creation of innovation hubs.

Third, the Digitalization Summit from the personal sector, civil society, and the academe, among others, needs to be convened “to determine the priority areas of the digitalization technique. ”

Fourth, brand new laws on digital governance for service integration, interoperability, and data governance in the general public sector; plus cyber defense posture to address current and future threats, should become crafted.

Hence, the particular Marcos Junior. administration plus the DICT must see to it that the digitalization pronouncements will be implemented and achieved.

For digitalization to succeed, the critical factor is the participation of and collaboration with the private sector and municipal society.

In this manner, the problems borne simply by the digitalization thrust might be converted into inclusive advancement opportunities as the Philippines endeavors to become a new power player within the global electronic economy.

Victor Andres “Dindo” C. Manhit is the particular president associated with the Stratbase ADR Institute.

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