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Gov’t online shift may boost Philippine digital economy

PHILIPPINE STAR/EDD GUMBAN

THE PHILIPPINE digital economy is seen to grow to as much as $150 billion in the next decade if the government accelerates its online shift, according to Digital Transformation ng Pilipinas (DigiPinas).

“The national government is definitely on the right track towards achieving a new digital world where everyone is included. But while the Internet is considered the greatest equalizer, the national and local governments play an important role in driving digital services that fully cater to their constituents on a more intimate scale,” DigiPinas Spokesperson Mikan Leachon said in a statement.

DigiPinas is a multi-sectoral initiative led by UBX Philippines Corp. to drive digital transformation in the government. UBX is the financial technology unit of UnionBank of the Philippines, Inc.

According to DigiPinas, the Philippine digital economy is currently valued at $20 billion and can grow to as much as $150 billion or about P8.3 trillion in the next decade, citing a study by Google and Temasek.

More Filipinos are also seen adapting to the digital economy.

“The reopening of Southeast Asian economies created a significant impact on consumers and the digital economy with the pandemic normalizing online transactions,” DigiPinas said.

The study also noted that digital transactions are seen to grow despite the resumption of on-ground economic activities.

“Digital retail, online travel, online media, digital payments, and online transportation and food deliveries make up most of the values derived from the e-conomy,” it added.

The Philippine government must quickly address the demand for digital government solutions to complement this uptrend, DigiPinas said.

“The Philippines is going through a digital revolution and the government has to step up its game to enable this to succeed. The current administration’s desire to pursue digital transformation is a welcome development, we just have to turn this idea into a reality. DigiPinas is able and willing to support the government in this initiative,” Mr. Leachon said.

“We are eager to partner with various government agencies —both national and local governments —and equip them with the right solutions for digital transformation,” he added.

The group said it recommends the enforcement of policies related to digital transformation that address low digital adoption, lack of awareness, gaps in access, digital skills gap, and complex regulations.

It also aims to equip each government partner with digital tools and solutions to bring their services closer to their constituents. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson

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