DTI vows to ramp up tech, innovation efforts

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has vowed to ramp up its efforts to promote science, technology and innovation in the country, signaling a key policy direction after the Philippines improved its ranking in a network readiness report by a US-based think tank.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual said that several initiatives are in the pipeline, including the enactment of the proposed Internet Transactions Act (ITA) and amendments to the E-Commerce Act.

The Trade chief also said that digital transformation initiatives to address “upskilling” and “reskilling” of human capital and businesses are being scaled up.

E-government or the automation of government processes are also being pursued across the entire state bureaucracy, he added.

Pascual made the statement after the Portulans Institute released is 2022 Network Readiness Report indicating that the Philippines’ ranking improved by 12 notches, from 83rd place to 71st.

“It shows that we are a country composed of digital natives, and it indeed gives us a demographic advantage. We are mindful of this advantage and recognize that the digital economy is about people and technology, so we are ramping up efforts to promote science, technology and innovation, as our main strategy,” Pascual said in a statement.

The report also cited the Philippines as the year’s “biggest mover.”

The Philippines was characterized as performing considerably well on e-commerce legislation, high tech exports, and ICT (information and communications technology) services exports.

The report also cited the Philippines ranking fifth and among the 36 lower middle income economies with good performance in ten sub pillars: access, content, future technologies, individuals, governments, trust, regulation, inclusion, economy and quality of life.