Freeman Cebu Business

Philippines, Singapore spearhead ‘Digital Pilipinas’

Ehda M. Dagooc - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — Philippines and Singapore have both committed to support more technologically-capable and innovation-driven digital landscape in the Philippines and across the ASEAN region.

Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Chief FinTech Officer Sopnendu Mohanty, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez, and Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Carlos Dominguez all vouched their support on this movement.

The two countries’ finance authorities made this commitment following the official launching of ‘Digital Pilipinas: A Closer Look at the Philippine Sandbox’, a movement that aims to influence change through technology and innovation across the local and global spheres.

Digital Pilipinas introduced a 12-point agenda to provide solutions to overcome challenges within the Philippine industry and economic ecosystem, and laid out a method to leverage on ICT-driven opportunities.

The 12-point agenda covers FinTech, GovTech and RegTech, ProTech, Digital Transformation, Overseas Filipino Banking, Future of Mobility, InsuTech, eCommerce, Cyber Security, Internet of Energy, Future Education, Digital Cities and Gaming.

“Innovations are being spearheaded in the sandbox of Asia. We need to do more than just raise our innovation quotient as a country and as a people to remain competitive. More importantly, we need to demand a technology and innovation quotient from our future leaders,” said Digital Pilipinas Convenor and GeiserMaclang Marketing Communications, Inc. Co-Founder Amor Maclang during the virtual launching of the movement.

In his keynote speech, Mohanty reminded the movement’s organizers to ensure that the sandbox will benefit all the citizens for public good. “We are promoting technology for people to progress, so the public good is important to make the sandbox successful. If there’s one market in Asia which has the biggest potential to completely transform, it’s the Philippines.”

Lopez supported Mohanty’s statement saying before the pandemic, the Philippine government has already been utilizing digitalization to push the ease of doing business. The adoption of e-commerce facilitated the digital transformation of business.

“The Philippine government remains committed to its role in enabling different stakeholders in our country to ensure our people benefits in ecommerce,” said Lopez.

Dominguez also affirmed the need for economies to adjust to modern technologies “if they want to remain viable.”

According to Dominguez, even before the pandemic the Philippine government encouraged the rapid rise of FinTech and the revenue agencies have fully embraced digitalization.

The Digital Pilipinas movement is a multi-month series of activities that will culminate on November 11-12, 2021 at the World FinTech Festival Philippines, which will gather the top tech leaders in the country to share their insights on trends and how organizations can become stronger in the new normal.

To support the movement and materialize the vision for a digitally-empowered Philippines, conferences, forums and other initiatives aimed at addressing the 12-point agenda will take place, spread across several months.

The series will be composed of pioneers, change-makers, and leading voices in the tech and innovation industry as well as emerging start-ups that flourished as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Digital Pilipinas ecosystem is made up of frontrunners in the technology and innovation scene including national line agencies, foreign and local industry groups, and corporations.

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