‘Digital Pilipinas: a Closer Look at the Philippine Sandbox’, a movement that aims to influence change through technology and innovation across the local and global spheres was launched on July 22 by government and industry leaders from both the Philippines and Singapore.
Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Chief FinTech Officer Sopnendu Mohanty, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez, and Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Carlos Dominguez all expressed their support for a more technologically-capable and innovation-driven digital landscape in the Philippines and across the ASEAN region.
Digital Pilipinas, the movement, has a 12-point agenda to provide solutions to overcome challenges within the Philippine industry and economic ecosystem, and introduces a method to leverage on ICT-driven opportunities. The 12-point agenda covers FINTECH, GOVTECH, and REGTECH; PROPTECH; DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION; OVERSEAS FILIPINO BANKING; FUTURE OF MOBILITY; INSURETECH; E-COMMERCE; CYBERSECURITY; INTERNET OF ENERGY; FUTURE OF EDUCATION; DIGITAL CITIES; and GAMING.
Digital Pilipinas Convenor and GeiserMaclang Marketing Communications, Inc. Co-Founder Amor Maclang said during her welcome remarks, “Innovations are being spearheaded in the sandbox of Asia. We need to do more than just raise our innovation quotient as a country and as a people to remain competitive. More importantly, we need to demand a technology and innovation quotient from our future leaders.
In his keynote speech, Mohanty said, “You must ensure that the sandbox will benefit all the citizens for public good. We are promoting technology for people to progress, so the public good is important to make the sandbox successful.” He added, “If there’s one market in Asia which has the biggest potential to completely transform, it’s the Philippines.”
Lopez supported this in his keynote speech and said, “Before the pandemic, the government has already been utilizing digitalization to push the ease of doing business. The adoption of e-commerce facilitated the digital transformation of business. The government remains committed to its role in enabling different stakeholders in our country to ensure our people benefits in ecommerce.”
Dominguez affirmed this in his keynote speech, saying, “Our economies will need to adjust to modern technologies if they want to remain viable. Even before the pandemic, the Philippine government encouraged the rapid rise of FinTech in our country, and our revenue agencies have fully embraced digitalization.”
With the theme, ‘A Whole of Nation, Whole of Society Approach for Technology and Innovation’, the panel discussion was led by Global Impact FinTech (GIFT) Co-Founder and Chairman Malik Kotadia. He was joined by Mohanty, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Deputy Director Ace Alvaro, DTI Asec. Mary Jean Pacheco, AFIN/APIX: ASEAN Financial Innovation Network Director Pieter Franken, and Overseas Filipino Bank President and CEO Leila Martin in an engaging discussion about the importance of technology and innovation as a means for national progress and prosperity.
The first segment of the fireside chat led by Maclang and FinTech Philippines Trustee Ida Tiongson gathered innovation market leaders in an engaging discussion about how they are dealing with industry issues and challenges and how they are pushing boundaries through tech. They shared how they applied what they learned from the transformation of their companies to the tech development of their industries to make it even more competitive. They were joined by Dragonpay President Robertson “Dick” Chiang; MYNT Chief Customer Officer Winsley Bangit; Insular Life First Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Gwendolyn Kelley; KPMG in the Philippines Head of Cybersecurity and IT Advisory Jallain Manrique; Union Bank of the Philippines Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Technology and Operations Officer Henry Aguda; and Tier One Entertainment Chief Executive Officer Tryke Gutierrez
Meanwhile, the second segment of the fireside chat moderated by best-selling Filipino NFT artist and NFT63 Co-founder and CEO Luis Buenaventura focused on emerging voices in the tech industry. The discussion centered on the groundbreaking methods they used to persuade people to embrace innovations like cashless payments, cloud tech, online education, and e-commerce. He was joined by Angkas Chief Transport Advocate George Royeca; The Bow Tie Duck Co-founder Julien Marie; Kimstore Founder and CEO Kim Lato; Locad CEO and Co-Founder Constantin Robertz from Locad; Philippine Coding Camp President Gabriel Avelino ‘Gino’ Sampedro; UNObank CEO and Co-founder Manish Bhai; 8Ventures Chairman & CEO Jay Ricky Villarante; and Xendit Philippines Managing Director Yang Yang Zhang.
The Digital Pilipinas movement is a multi-month series of activities that will culminate on November 11-12, 2021 at the World FinTech Festival Philippines, which will gather the top tech leaders in the country to share their insights on trends and how organizations can become stronger in the new normal. To support the movement and materialize the vision for a digitally-empowered Philippines, conferences, forums and other initiatives aimed at addressing the 12-point agenda will take place, spread across several months.
The series will be composed of pioneers, change-makers, and leading voices in the tech and innovation industry as well as emerging start-ups that flourished as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Digital Pilipinas ecosystem is made up of frontrunners in the technology and innovation scene including national line agencies, foreign and local industry groups, and corporations.
Maclang, who also moderated the panel discussions, reiterated, “We are not truly free until we control our digital destiny as a country.”