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NEDA official briefs CIOs on government framework to recharge PH economy

NEDA Usec Rosemarie Edillon addresses government CIOs
Friday, August 28, 2020

27 August 2020 (Quezon City) -- Undersecretary for Policy and Planning Rosemarie G. Edillon of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) today told over 100 government chief information officers (CIOs) about government's plan to recharge the Philippine economy in the wake of the severe disruption brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Undersecretary Edillon was keynote speaker in the CIOF Second Online General Membership Meeting and Conference of the CIO Forum (CIOF) on the theme "Digital Transformation Toward Economic Development."

She said NEDA has organized a Task Group on Recovery to update the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) to account for the pandemic and the five-pillar strategy in dealing with it, codenamed PDITR for "Prevent, Detect, Isolate, Treat, and Recover."

Edillon explained that the general context under the new normal is characterized by four scenarios, namely: (1) physical distancing with face mask and face shield, (2) strict hygiene and sanitation protocols, (3) sporadic lockdowns, and (4) ever-present threat of COVID-19.

She said NEDA is coordinating with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to give topmost priority to digital connectivity through the national broadband program and the Free Wifi for All in Public Places and SUCs Program.

Undersecretary Edillon enumerated six ongoing interagency initiatives to recharge the economy:

1) Reduce digital divide by lowering barriers to market entry and increase avaiable spectrum for internet connectivity;

2) Streamline permit requirements for network deployment to reduce cost;

3) Increase the adoption of digital payments by accelerating the PhilSys and developing a policy to incentivuize the use of e-payments;

4) Improve the business environment and level the playing field through the implemenrtation of the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Acts;

5) Maximize the potential of Republic Act 11337 (The Innovative Start Up Act) and RA 11293 (Innovation Act); and

6) Introduce amendments to the Public Service Act and Foreign Investment Act, and Open Access in Data Transmission Act.

Director Ellen Joyce L. Suficiencia of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) also addressed the CIOs on "Banking and Financial Inclusion in the New Economy."

She cited BSP's aggressive advocacy toward broader financial inclusion especially among previously unbanked sectors of the masses, and cited encouraging statistics in terms of impact and gains.

She said BSP's strategy for inclusive digital finance consists of three components, namely:

1) Democratized access to a transaction account whether basic deposit or e-money;

2) Expansive network of low-cost touch points like cash agents and e-money agents; and

3) Efficient retail payment system such as PESONet, InstaPay, EGov Pay, and QR Ph.

Director Suficiencia cited four imperatives for the new economy: digital infrastructure, digital ID or PhilSys, digital skills, and enabling regulatory framework for open banking.

Presentations during the conference include:

CIOF President's Report by B. Elizabeth E. Yap, PhD, CIO Forum President and former Assistabt Secretary, Department of Public Works and Highways;

Keynote Message, by Rosemarie G. Edillon, PhD, Undersecretary for Policy and Planning, National Economic and Development Authority

Banking and Financial Inclusion in the New Economy, by Ellen Joyce L. Suficiencia, Director for Financial Inclusion, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas

Digital Transformation to Sustain Economic Development, by Carlo Malana, Senior Vice President and CIO, Globe;

Government Digital Transformation is No Longer Just an Option, by Augustine Chiew, Huawei Technologies;

Sustaining Economic Productivity for the Industry, by Ferdinand Manfoste, Assistant Director, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI);

Sustaining Economic Productivity in Agriculture, by Clint Hassan, Director, Department of Agriculture (DA);

Sustainability is (Digital) Transformation, by William Yu, PhD., CTO, Micro-D International;

Cyber Security as Enabler of Economic Development, by Hywel Morgan, CISSP, CCSP, Sales Manager, Sophos; and

Strategic Programs for the New Normal, by Leo L. Cipriano Urbiztondo, Director, DICT.

The experts from government and the private sector discussed the challenges and presented solutions to the digital transformation of government frontline services to meet the demands of the new normal.

The conference was organized by the CIO Forum and the CIOF Foundation in collaboration with NEDA, BSP, DICT, DTI, and DA.

Industry partners for the conference were Globe Business, Huawei Technologies, Micro-D International and Red Hat, Sophos, Converge ICT, and Microsoft. (vmg200827)