The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) said Wednesday it is supporting the National Economic Development Authority’s (NEDA) effort to advance digital transformation in the economic sector amid the current COVID-19 crisis affecting the Philippine economy.
In a statement, Information Technology Secretary Gregorio Honasan II said that the DICT continues to implement programs aimed at digitalizing the government, the community, and the economy in support of the NEDA’s efforts.
“The DICT supports digital transformation in the economic sector. Under the banner of a Digital Philippines, we are employing a holistic approach towards digitalization, focusing on connectivity, cybersecurity and digital literacy,” Honasan said.
“We are optimistic that the transition of the Philippines to a digital economy will make the country’s economy more resilient to external factors, such as the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
In an earlier statement, NEDA Acting Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua, emphasized the need to transition to a digital economy to better adapt to the “new normal.”
Chua pointed out that a number of structural reforms are also needed to be put in place.
“The DICT will continue to develop and implement programs that will fast track the country’s digital transformation, in line with the guidance and directives of President Rodrigo Duterte, through the IATF. ICT has provided a semblance of continuity for our society and brings us much closer to transitioning to a new normal. Let us all work together for continuity, stability, national unity, peace and prosperity,” Honasan said.
The acting Socioeconomic Planning chief also enumerated other factors which will help the Philippine economy adapt to the “new normal,” such as stimulating domestic demand or consumption by ensuring the operation of agricultural production, food manufacturing, and the entire value-chain; getting the “Build, Build, Build” program back on track, which will generate millions of jobs; and developing and implementing socioeconomic policies that are adaptive and responsive; among others.
In the public address of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) last May 12, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said the government is finalizing an economic recovery program that will help the country combat the pandemic and revive the economy.
This includes providing assistance to industries and Filipino workers, he said. --Ted Cordero/KBK, GMA News