Filipino Government Urged to Digitally Transform

Technology Philippines

This article originally appeared in PNA.

Currently, the Philippine government is being urged to transform digitally. They can create a “school for the future” which aims to create a society that is digital future oriented and to increase a part of the public sector into being more technologically savvy.

International Conference on Public Sector Productivity

In the International Conference on Public Sector Productivity, Albay Representative Joey Salceda discussed  the need for a “digital transformation officer” in government departments. This officer will aid the agencies into converting themselves towards being more digitized for efficiency.

“Revolutionizing every facet of business and government requires re-education of the bureaucracy and regulatory changes in view of the technological changes, the international dimension of the work, and cyber threats,” he said.

Emerging Technology

With so much emergence of various types of technology like blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI), Rep. Salceda said it is important as these are becoming a big part of offices and businesses today.

Blockchain has started affecting the workplace and creating revolutionary digital change in record keeping. Its data is immutable and decentralized which means it cannot be changed or edited due to the high computing power it uses.

Meanwhile, artificial intelligence has gone and done activities that people find to be a wasting time as it is repetitive. The people have more time to do more productive activities.

Technology vs. Country Laws.


A major problem with all these up-and-coming technologies is that they usually fall within a blurry line with our country’s laws. Let’s take for example cryptocurrency. The use of it is growing but it isn’t legal tender. There need to be policies done by the country like Circular Order 944, so that these can be regulated in the Philippines.

At the same time, Rep. Salceda also acknowledged that with the mass of change that comes with technology, it moves way faster than the government has time to fully adapt. With this, he proposed for policymakers to have a template for these technologies so they can grow in the country without worrying.

Policy Making

Digital Transformation

He then went on to cite these stages and what questions they will each be addressing:

  1. Pre-regulatory Stage – What do we currently have?
  2. Testing and Evaluation – When is it time to regulate?
  3. Regulatory Approach – How will the regulation be done?
  4. Revisit – What has changed and has anything improved?

A great example of this regulatory sandbox approach is Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) which actually makes use of this every time there is a new technology in the financial market. This included the rise of e-money services and right now with cryptocurrencies.

The BSP has the following “cycles” which is the following:

  1. Give the opportunity for the market to develop
  2. Continue with flexibility yet be careful
  3. Understand the current operating/business model
  4. Adapt with an appropriate regulatory approach
  5. Closely monitor the developments and related issues

Future of Digital Transformation in the Philippines

It is good to note that the country is taking steps towards moving forward. With these plans being set in motion, we can think of a more efficient and effective system in the country. This may lead to a lot of revolutions in the country like the lessening of bribery in agencies.

This can also be part of lessening the use of connections when running documents as it may be done online. We should take part in the movement so that the government may truly see the need for it and push for its immediate implementation.

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