July 23, 2021

According to the DTI, the Philippines has the potential to be a technological leader in Southeast Asia in the future.

As Filipinos adapt to digital technology in the face of the epidemic, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez believes the nation may become Southeast Asia’s next technical leader.

“The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) shares the belief that the Philippines can be a future technology leader in Southeast Asia with the Digital Pilipinas Movement. And, like everyone here, we recognize that only a whole-of-society approach — that is, all of us working together to rebuild a better post-pandemic future — can accomplish this,” Lopez stated at the inauguration of the Digital Pilipinas Movement on Thursday.

He also highlighted statistics that show the nation is “made for e-commerce.”

According to Lopez’s 2021 Digital Report, the Philippines remains the world’s top user of the internet and social media.

He also said that e-commerce usage in the Philippines increased to 80.2 percent this year, up from 70% in 2019 and 76 percent in 2020.

“We witnessed this most recently during the Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) epidemic when e-commerce came to our rescue. The vacuum created by brick-and-mortar companies impacted by neighborhood lockdowns was filled by a slew of internet enterprises. Online shopping, delivery services, online entertainment, digital services, telemedicine, work-from-home arrangements, and digital payments have all aided us in the last year and will continue to do so in the future, according to Lopez.

Entrepreneurs are increasingly registering their companies online and prefer digital payment, according to the DTI director.

According to the DTI’s Business Name Registration Next Generation System, retail trade registrations have increased to 105,159 from 1,848 in the pre-pandemic period of January to March 2020.

At the end of 2020, there were 88,575 registrations, up from 88,575 at the beginning of the year.

“By 2020, more than half of all applications for Business Name registration and other associated transactions will have been handled in under eight minutes, and 83% would have been completed in under an hour. We also saw a change in many of our Business Names applicants’ payment choices, with 67 percent of registration costs paid through online payment channels against the conventional over-the-counter or DTI cashier method,” Lopez added.

Lopez believes that the introduction of the e-Commerce Philippines 2022 Roadmap would help the nation become a technology leader in the area.

By 2022, the plan hopes to have one million e-commerce businesses, up from half a million last year.

It also aims to create a digitally competent workforce to support the e-commerce industry’s rapid growth.

“To push this even farther, and to meet President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s directive from the previous year that the long line or wait should eventually vanish,” Lopez added.

For the ECGO, he said, the DTI e-Commerce Office is collaborating with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), the AIM-DBI Foundation, and the incubator Dado Banatao.

Local entrepreneurs will propose innovative government IT solutions as part of the new project.

“To sum up, the government is dedicated to playing a leading role in allowing various stakeholders in the nation to guarantee that our people benefit from e-commerce, including the jobs and employment opportunities it creates. But we are also sure that by working together, our nation will be able to ride the wave of technology into the future and become one of the region’s technological leaders,” he added.

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