President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said the Philippines should be at par with other countries in terms of technological innovations in the digital and modern age to serve the people efficiently, generate more jobs, and secure the nation’s economic revitalization.
Speaking during the inauguration of the Union Bank Innovation Campus in San Pedro City, Laguna, Marcos said the pandemic accelerated the use of technology and digitalization that, in the end, made them a “viable way of doing business.”
“We in government have gone a step further than that, not only, is it viable way of doing business, 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,” Marcos said.
The inauguration of the UnionBank campus is precisely the kind of innovations, forward-thinking, operations, and actions that the country needs, not only in the private sector but also in the public sector, he said.
He added that the government can also be a participant in the new digital world.
“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 continued.
“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 industries into the future.”
The same intention could be applied in the public sector in terms of government digitalization both at the national and local levels, he pointed out.
Digitalization of payments
According to the President, this initiative perfectly fits into the three-year Digital Payments Transformation Roadmap of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, which promotes the digitalization of payments toward furthering financial inclusion.
The roadmap has two objectives: converting at least 50 percent of the total retail transaction volume into digital form and the onboarding of 70 percent of Filipino adults to the formal financial system next year.
“To achieve these targets, we need to hone our competencies in areas such as software development, data analytics, artificial intelligence, and blockchain technology, amongst others. This is in line with our goals under the Philippine Skills Framework,” he stressed.
One of the UBIC’s objectives is fostering a greater partnership between the public and private sectors under the Advancing Government ICT Innovation, Leadership, and Excellence or AGILE Program.
Aside from bringing digital banking services to the local government units (LGUs), the program will also enhance other digitalization initiatives in the government.
Joining the President were Trade Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual, Private Sector Advisory Council chief and UnionBank Board Director Sabin Aboitiz, UnionBank Chairman Erramon Isidro M. Aboitiz, UnionBank President and CEO Edwin Bautista, UnionBank Board Director Samel Aboitiz, and San Pedro Mayor Art Mercado. | PND