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The Philippines’ Digital Drive Sets Course for Tech-Ready Nation

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The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) is spearheading key policies aimed at fostering digital transformation in a resolute effort to propel the Philippines towards becoming a “tech-ready” nation.

This commitment seeks to usher in socio-economic transformation within the medium term. At the core of this strategic initiative is the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028, where digitalisation stands out as one of the six pivotal cross-cutting strategies crucial to achieving sustainable progress.

NEDA Secretary Arsenio M Balisacan underscores the imperative of bridging existing policy gaps that impede the nation’s effective preparation for a tech-ready future. Drawing from experience, he emphasises the need to streamline regulatory processes, creating an efficient framework that not only boosts economic growth but also enhances the overall well-being of Filipino citizens.

The key lies in leveraging technology to elevate efficiency and productivity, ensuring that the benefits of the digital revolution permeate all facets of Philippine society.

Fostering an enabling and competitive environment for emerging technologies is a focal point in NEDA’s agenda. Such policies, Secretary Arsenio contends, will attract investments, catalyse job creation, and pave the way for sustainable economic prosperity.

He stressed the importance of prioritising user privacy and data protection in the wake of rapid technological advancements. Secretary Arsenio advocates for a collaborative approach, urging joint efforts with public and private stakeholders in a comprehensive, whole-of-government, and whole-of-society strategy to achieve the desired end goals.

A significant stride in this pursuit is NEDA’s advocacy for the Open Access in Data Transmission Bill. This legislative initiative aims to bridge the digital divide in the Philippines by promoting the development of robust data transmission infrastructure.

Simultaneously, it seeks to eliminate barriers to competition in data transmission services, fostering a landscape of inclusivity and accessibility. The bill’s recent inclusion in the priority list of bills under the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) Common Legislative Agenda underscores its importance.

The bill’s primary focus is to enhance internet connectivity, accessibility, and inclusivity, acting as a catalyst for widespread digitalisation and innovation across the archipelago. NEDA’s collaboration with relevant government agencies, especially the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), is indicative of a concerted effort to refine and enhance the bill further.

Notably, the House of Representatives has already given its approval on the bill’s third reading, signalling positive momentum in the legislative process.

NEDA’s commitment to fostering a tech-ready environment not only exemplifies a dedication to digital transformation but also showcases a forward-thinking approach to addressing the evolving needs of the nation.

According to Secretary Arsenio, as the Philippines strides towards a digital future, NEDA’s vision and strategic initiatives set the stage for a tech-ready landscape that promises to empower citizens, drive economic growth, and position the nation as a key player in the global digital arena.

Becoming a tech-ready nation is a critical pursuit in the modern-day, influencing multifaceted aspects of economic, social, and national development. The significance lies in the capacity of technology to drive innovation, enhance productivity, and attract foreign investments, thereby contributing to sustained economic growth and bolstering a nation’s competitiveness on the global stage.

The NEDA Secretary added that technology-driven industries not only create job opportunities but also necessitate a skilled workforce, ensuring that citizens are equipped with the digital competencies required in a rapidly evolving technological landscape.


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