MBC hosts Digital Economy Roundtable with British Embassy Manila

MBC Roundtable on Philippine Roadmap for Innovation

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September 2 — The Makati Business Club hosted a Digital Economy Roundtable, entitled “Roadmap for Innovation: Mapping Opportunities in the Philippine Digital Economy”, as the third installment of the MBC Integrity Series in partnership with the British Embassy Manila.

The program highlighted keynote presentations from government represented by the Department of Trade and Industry, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, and the Department of Information and Communications Technology: Ma. Lourdes Yaptinchay (Director of the E-Commerce Office of DTI) presented an overview of the Philippine Innovation Roadmap; Vicente De Villa III (OIC and Senior Director of the Fintech Hub at BSP) presented the BSP’s priorities and roadmap for digital financial innovation; and Aida Yuvienco (Director of the Government Transformation Bureau at DICT) covered regulatory reform and challenges in the development of a Digital Philippines.

In her welcome remarks, MBC Trustee Riza Mantaring underlined the importance of the dialogue, especially in the wake of a developing Digital Philippines: “According to a report of the Hinrich Doundation released in May, the country’s digital economy could expand 12-fold to Php 1.9 trillion by 2030 if the government encourages investments in information and communications technology, and eases restrictions to facilitate greater regional trade.”

The country’s digital economy is currently valued at Php 160 billion, or about 1.8 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. At present, the Philippine digital economy is led by financial services sector, contributing an estimated Php 85 billion.

The private sector panel, discussing opportunities for business in a Digital Philippines, was led by Cezar Consing, President of the Bankers Association of the Philippines, Ida Tiongson, Trustee of the Fintech Philippines Association, and Chris Nelson, Executive Director of the British Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines.

To close the program, Carl Wilkins, Her Majesty’s Consul at Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs discussed UK perspective and expertise on data security, which forms a critical part of a digital economy.

The MBC Integrity Series is done in partnership with the British Embassy in Manila, through the UK Prosperity Fund. Grounded on espousing the values of integrity and accountability, the series enables dialogue between key representatives of the private sector and government to find constructive ways forward in strengthening transparency for both sectors. The first meeting in January was focused on critical interventions for integrity in Infrastructure; the second meeting, done in February, was on reforms for institutionalising transparency for better service delivery in Health and Education.