The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said digitalization and other traditional sectors will continue to create jobs and push the Philippine economy forward.
Rosemary Edlon, Under Secretary of State at NEDA, responded when asked what industries the agency is looking for when it comes to creating jobs through online business: “It’s very clear… that the digital economy… is something that could be an engine for growth in the future. “. Forum organized by “Manila Times”.
Infrastructure, data centers, artificial intelligence and digital skills are just a few of the things she said the Marcus administration wanted to make the digital sector more dynamic.
“We really need a pool of workforce to be able to have this vibrant digital economy,” Edillon noted.
She added that the government will promote the digitization of its procedures.
In his first State of the Nation address, President Ferdinand “Bong Bong” Marcos Jr. said the country’s tax system will be adjusted to keep pace with the rapid developments of the digital economy. This will include the imposition of a value-added tax on digital service providers, which will generate an initial revenue impact of about 11.7 billion pesos in 2023.
He said that the customs office will support the expedited procedures using information and communication technology. Furthermore, Marcus instructed the ICT Department to find and implement innovations that would strengthen the government.
He added, “The national identity card will play an important role in this digital transformation. For citizens to be able to smoothly interact with the government, it should be easy to verify their identity.”
The Internet economy in the Philippines is estimated to be worth $7.5 billion, and by 2025, it is expected to increase by 30 percent annually to reach $28 billion, according to a report by economic consultancy AlphaBeta.
However, he said that a number of obstacles prevent the country from fully implementing digital transformation, including low levels of digital adoption among MSMEs, lack of knowledge of the policies and programs in place to promote digital adoption, and gaps. In access to digital tools, workers lack the necessary digital skills.
There is still potential for more digital transformation initiatives, and the Covid-19 pandemic has only underscored how important they are. The company added that the Philippines’ digital economy has a lot of room for growth due to its young and tech-savvy population.
She said improving digital skills training and education, accelerating digital adoption and innovation, and enhancing prospects for digital commerce are the three main business areas of the Philippines.
AlphaBeta estimated that “if fully leveraged, digital transformation could unlock $5 trillion ($101.3 billion) in annual economic value in the Philippines by 2030.”
Besides the digital economy, Edillon said, the Philippines still has traditional sources of jobs such as the tourism industry, which before the pandemic accounted for about 12 percent of all jobs in the country.
“Hopefully we can revive that as well,” she added.
Edlon also mentioned the need to tap into the creative industries’ ability to promote the Philippine brand of merchandise and tourist destinations, among other things.
She further said that NEDA Secretary Arsenio Balisacan is also pushing for a revival of the manufacturing sector, which acts as an intermediary sector for other industries.
“It comes from agriculture, and then you also send it, you know, into the service sector. So we want to revive that, but in terms of more innovation, in terms of processes and in terms of products,” Edillon noted.
Marcos said the government will prioritize basic improvements, such as repairing roads to make it easier to reach tourist destinations, in order to boost the tourism industry. To help relieve the backlog at Manila Airport, it will also renovate the airports and build more international airports.
He also said that the government will need an institutional creative sector to advance the interests of stakeholders.