DTI Secretary Alfredo Pascual (Photo courtesy of DTI)

MANILA – Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Alfredo Pascual on Thursday urged retailers to accelerate the adoption of digital technology in their operations for them to thrive on the challenging path to recovery.

During the Philippine Retailers Association (PRA) general membership meeting, Pascual said he envisions the adoption of digital transformation down to micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to help them improve their productivity, enhance efficiency, reduce costs, and earn more profit.

The new DTI chief also encouraged retailers to promote digital payment.

“Digitizing merchant payments is of utmost importance and that will be an important instrument for facilitating transactions between consumers and retailers. I urge PRA to recalibrate and accelerate digital transformation, especially of micro, small, and medium enterprises, by the promotion of digital payments, as well as digitalization of processes of retailers,” he said.

Amid rising commodity prices, Pascual enjoined retailers to cooperate with the DTI for consumer protection and empowerment.

“We aim to ensure the availability of basic necessities and prime commodities to our fellow Filipinos at affordable prices, and we will do so by closely monitoring prices so that there is no manipulation, there is no profiteering, there is no hoarding, and there is no cartelization, and when needed, negotiating with manufacturers and producers,” he added.

Pascual also encouraged retailers to take advantage of the Retail Trade Liberalization Act (RTLA) by partnering with foreign companies.

He said with the enactment of the RTLA, the new law will usher in some PHP54 billion in foreign investments within five years.

Pascual also urged PRA to collaborate with DTI to initiate the Philippine Skills Framework for Retailers (PSF-Retailers).

“The proposal is to adopt the Singapore Skills Framework for Retail, with the proposed PSF seeking to help persons who wish to join and advance in the retail sector analyze their career interests, locate relevant training programs to enhance their skills, and prepare for the desired job roles,” he said.

He assured retailers that the DTI will continue to push for policies that will foster the growth of the retail sector across the country. (PNA)