Gov’t eyes support for e-commerce boom
The country’s economic planners are pushing reforms in the e-commerce sector amid the boom in digital services but the government warned that increased transactions on the internet may also result in an increase in cybercrimes.
But first, the Philippines has to catch up with neighboring countries in terms of broadband penetration and digital adoption because it still has one of the slowest internet speeds in Southeast Asia although it has the most expensive pricing.
Undersecretary Rosemarie G. Edillon of the National Economic Development Authority (Neda) said these reforms can be done by opening the telco sector through amendments in the foreign investment and public service laws as well as the pending open access in data transmission bill.
Edillon said the reforms would “reduce the digital divide by lowering barriers to market entry and increase available spectrum for internet connectivity” as well as “streamline permit requirements for network deployment to reduce cost.”
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua stressed that “digital technology can significantly increase efficiency in business operations and public service delivery.”
“Online transactions will now become the new standard for engaging with clients, buyers, and suppliers, therefore, both public and private sectors need to invest in digital technology,” he told journalists in an online briefing on Friday.
“We need to maximize the benefits of greater use of technology in supporting the agriculture value chain through projects such as the Department of Agriculture’s eKADIWA, an online marketing platform that directly links producers and agri-entrepreneurs to consumers, as well as the Supply Chain Analytics (SCAn) Dashboard and the SCAn Reporter,” Chua added.
But Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III warned consumers that the current e-commerce boom may also result in increased crimes on the internet
“With more commercial transactions going through cyberspace, expect a spike in cybercrime,” Dominguez said.
“The Philippine National Police and the Department of Justice have been alerted and have assured me that they have upgraded their capacity to detect, investigate and prosecute cybercriminals,” Dominguez he added.
In a July 9 report titled “Cyber risk rises as coronavirus drives increased digital banking and remote work,” debt watcher Moody’s Investors Service said “large-scale shift to digital banking and remote work has accelerated the technology cycle and increased banks’ vulnerability to cyberattacks.”
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