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DICT: Digital transformation key to accelerating PHL startups

Digital transformation is key to accelerating the Philippine startup industry, officials of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) said Thursday.

"We at the DICT trust that utilizing, developing, and harnessing technology will only accelerate the growth and evolution of our Philippine startup ecosystem," said Emmanuel Rey Caintic, DICT Assistant Secretary for Digital Philippines.

Digital transformation is the incorporation of digital technologies into a company's processes and culture to create new business practices or improve existing ones, changing how it operates as market requirements change with time.

According to DICT Undersecretary for Operations Eliseo Rio, there is a need for more locally generated startups and applications.

"Unfortunately, most of our applications are from abroad, such as Facebook and Google, while there are very few that are locally generated, like Angkas," he said.

"We need more local apps like Angkas," added Rio.

This comes as Republic Act 113337 or the Innovative Startup Act provides benefits and incentives to startups and enablers who have passed the selection and application process of host agencies.

Remarks of Rio and Caintic were mirrored by Jove Francisco, co-founder of the FinTech Philippines Association (FPh).

"Startups are a key to long-lasting economic development... We believe that the startup community is potentially the 4th leg of economic growth in the Philippines," he said.

"It works better when we work together. Private industry makes a difference, government makes a difference, but together we can collaborate better as a whole," added FPh chairman Mark Vernon. — BM, GMA News