Digital innovations to help spur economic activities: PBBM

By Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos

September 9, 2022, 12:32 pm

<p>President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. at the inauguration of the UnionBank Innovation Campus in the City of San Pedro, Laguna.<em> (Photo from Bongbong Marcos Facebook page)</em></p>

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. at the inauguration of the UnionBank Innovation Campus in the City of San Pedro, Laguna. (Photo from Bongbong Marcos Facebook page)

MANILA – Digital transformation initiatives will help boost more economic activities in the country, President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. said on Friday.

Marcos issued the statement as he led the digital ribbon-cutting ceremony for the inauguration of the UnionBank Innovation Campus in the City of San Pedro, Laguna.

“The initiatives that we have, such as (what) UnionBank is doing with this campus that we have just inaugurated today, that we have just opened today, are precisely the kind of innovations, the kind of forward-thinking operations and actions that we will need, not only in the private sector but also in the public sector,” he said in his keynote speech.

Marcos emphasized the need to take advantage of digital innovations to generate more jobs and revive the country’s economy.

The government, as a participant in the “new digital world”, would seek collaboration with the private sector to make public transactions easier and more convenient, he said.

"To sustain growth and promote new advances in this sector, it is my hope that you will explore the limitless possibilities, and take advantage of the many bright ideas that our experts have so that we can generate more jobs and secure our nation's economic revitalization," the President said. “We would be bereft, we would be neglectful of our duties if we do not recognize the trend that is happening around the world.”

Marcos said the government's digital adoption complements the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas' (BSP) three-year Digital Payments Transformation Roadmap that promotes cashless payments.

The roadmap has the twin objectives of converting at least 50 percent of the total retail transaction volume into digital form, and the onboarding of 70 percent of adult Filipinos to the formal financial system by 2023.

Marcos said the BSP's goals are attainable if the government hones its competencies in such areas as software development, data analytics, artificial intelligence, and blockchain technology.

“It is the only way that we will be doing business in the years to come and therefore, we cannot allow the Philippines to get left behind,” he said.

Marcos also lauded the UnionBank for the opening of the UnionBank Innovation Campus, which he said would help spur economic activities in the country.

"The track record of UnionBank in creating opportunities through innovation and digital solutions in the banking sector is uncontested. The opening of the UnionBank Innovation Campus shall intensify our collective efforts to bring our banking and ICT (information and communications technology) industries into the future," he said. “We apply that same intention to the public sector, in terms of government, in terms of digitalizing the government at the national level, at the local level."

The UnionBank Innovation Campus is envisioned to be the leading research and technology hub in the country.

The campus is primarily designed to be the home of various centers of innovation, such as UnionDigital, the digital banking arm of UnionBank, and the first-ever Asian Institute of Digital Transformation.

Marcos also checked the campus' facilities and had a tour of the UnionBank Innovation Festival.

The festival showcases numerous innovative digital solutions, applications, and the latest trends in FinTech, EduTech, Data Science and Artificial Intelligence, Open Finance, and the Metaverse developed by UnionBank, in collaboration with its various partners in government and the private sector.

Marcos, in his first State of the Nation Address delivered on July 25, stressed the importance of digital transformation in the Philippines to stay attuned with the world as it enters “an age of exponential adoption of technology” and for the nation to achieve success in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. (PNA)