Private sector investments crucial to national digital upgrade

22-Jan-2022 Intellasia | PhilStar | 5:02 AM Print This Post

The government should ride the momentum of collaboration with the private sector to establish long-term and sustainable programmes in the digital sphere, according to a think-tank.

“Investments in technology contemplate the future; they generate exponential benefits not only to today’s Filipinos but the next generation,” said Victor Andres Manhit, president of Stratbase ADRi.

He said the prolonged lockdown hastened Filipinos’ adoption of technology not only in their professional but also in their personal lives.

“The pandemic taught us, even those who were not inclined to believe it, that the digital world not only covers the work that we do but also the details of our everyday lives,” he said.

“We learned it was possible to buy our groceries or medicine, talk to a doctor, and conduct our banking affairs online. Our children went to school online. Connectivity became a basic human need.”

But the government has its hands full with responding to the pandemic and to other problems like endemic corruption.

“The logical course of action is to turn to the private sector as an indispensable partner,” he said.

“Filipinos do not not only know that the private sector is important to our national progress. They are also aware of how the private sector can help achieve it,” said Manhit.

Surveys by polling firms Social Weather Stations and Pulse Asia, both commissioned by Stratbase, support Manhit’s statements that the people are cognisant of the crucial role that the private sector plays.

In October, the Social Weather Stations found that at least eight in 10 Filipinos believed that the growth of the Philippine economy would be accelerated if the government collaborated more actively with the private sector.

Manhit said that the pandemic should have provided the government with clear insight into what the country needs to achieve its digital potential. And then, recognising that the private sector has the wherewithal and the expertise to build and maintain such initiatives, the government should actively pursue collaboration to enable more Filipinos to cross the digital divide.

“Cloud-based solutions, for instance, are an indispensable and inexpensive tool for small businesses and entrepreneurs,” Manhit said.

At the same time, he emphasized the need to empower Filipinos through training and upskilling. “We not only need to make technology available; we also need to update and upgrade the skills of our people so they can make the most out of the available digital technologies,” he said.


Category: Philippines

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