IT in the Philippines

IT in the Philippines

IT, like other technological developments, amid all the promising benefits they portray, is pointless if not developed, utilized, and implemented in harmony with human processes and activities.

Here in the Philippines, although we are not home to the latest and most innovative technologies, we are home to some of the world’s most competent and hardworking talents and thinkers. More importantly, as a developing country, we are taking steps to balance out adapting to digital transformation trends and responding to our country’s everyday needs.

But as the world changes instantaneously, being left behind as a country can rapidly be redefined, and technology is a huge factor in this. But a bigger factor is genuine social acceptance and capacity. It is not enough to merely entertain the thought of the potential benefits of IT developments but not implement them in such a way that they act as sustainable solutions to problems therefore, making quality of life better for the citizenry. It is almost useless to remain updated about trends and foresight when these are not translated into concrete actions and programs that foster tangible benefits.

Other countries that have been maximizing the opportunities provided by digital governance utilize approaches where the value of digital solutions in addressing gaps and fostering efficiency in public service are contemplated in the design of the structure and framework of these solutions. For instance, the question is not about numbers and aesthetics i.e., how many citizens have signed up for an ID and how vibrant the colors are on the website but instead, concerns functionality and efficiency i.e., how many services can be improved and streamlined as citizens support and accept the efforts for providing a digital and electronic ID and how will it improve public service, in general, such that both the government and the public save time and other resources but maintains, if not improve, accuracy and reliability of information.

A key element that will allow for a quality of digital governance, not only for the government but also for private enterprises, is the capacity for full integration. This means that a provided digital solution does not exist in isolation but has the capacity to establish a relationship with other functions that are important to the entire institution. When a digital identification can be integrated to a sim card, to pay taxes, to healthcare, enroll in educational institutions, avail of government assistance, and to cast votes in elections among others, there is no need for unnecessary repetition that poses risks like data inaccuracy but also to unnecessary redundant time and money expensed. Sustainably, these resources can be allocated to innovation or larger goals like an increase in economic performance, agricultural advancements, and reduction of poverty.

Maybe at this time, digital transformation is perceived as part of the future that needs to be anticipated but after having gone through a worldwide pandemic, rise of digital currencies, and exponential growth of AI among others, all of which happened almost instantaneously, it is a step backward to not accept that the future starts now.

In this era of the rise of people thriving in the digital world and connecting to the people and economies of other countries, it is not impossible to be held irrelevant and obsolete not on the basis of where we are inherently but in comparison to the exponential progress implemented and experienced by the rest of the world. The future starts now.

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