22 for 2022
The first core process includes two agenda items, namely the implementation of the National Broadband Plan (NBP) and increasing the number of secure internet servers in the country. The first agenda item will involve the creation of inter-agency ICT infra convergence programs to improve internet infrastructure and connectivity, provision of budgetary support for NBP implementation, and the facilitation of private sector investments in ICT infrastructure. The second agenda will include investments in SSL certificates for all public websites, as well as the crafting of a policy to require the same for all e-commerce sites.
Investments in logistics infrastructure is an important strategy in this roadmap. This includes both direct investments in infrastructure, as well as the modernization of the Philippine Postal Corporation (PHLPost), the primary body in charge of Philippine postal services. A primary component of this is the facilitation of investments in e-commerce hubs and townships as well as transport & storage infrastructure and facilities, including related systems and software upgrades for improved logistics operations, in coordination with various logistics-related gov’t agencies and industry associations.
With 10 years to 2030, the UN called for a Decade of Action, when governments, businesses, and individuals collectively mobilize to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. A large part of this movement is driven by digital governments whose role is to deliver efficient and inclusive services to everyone. Hence, for this roadmap, our goal is to upgrade the Philippine government, not just to be a facilitator of business, but also to be one of the main participants in digital transactions. This will be done by implementing the E-government Masterplan 2022, with special focus on the creation of the Central Business Portal and Philippine Business Databank, as mandated in RA 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business/Efficient Government Service Delivery Act, and the creation of policies on public data integration and accessibility. For personal public services, on the other hand, much weight will be given to the fast-tracking of the national ID system implementation which could greatly improve the KYC process for various services.
E-commerce initiatives will be supported by a future-ready regulatory environment. This will involve three things – (1) updating existing policies to be more responsive to digital transactions, (2) creating new policies that will enable online trade, and (3) creating a safer and more enabling environment for e-commerce participants.
Improvements in digital financial services are primarily led by the BSP through the Digital Payment’s Transformation Roadmap 2020-2023. Activities will include information campaigns on the above roadmap’s initiatives towards digital financial inclusions, the National QR Code Standard among SMEs, and e-invoicing schemes for businesses. Also, support will be provided in pursuing infrastructure development initiatives towards the expansion of digital reach (PhilSys, PhilPaSS, Open Banking) and establishment of credit infrastructures to address information asymmetries between providers and users of financial services.
Faster dispute resolution will be managed by streamlining the process through an online alternative dispute resolution system. This will be facilitated by a strong digital consumer & merchant protection framework and the digital transformation of government agencies involved in consumer protection, cybercrime, cybersecurity, data privacy, and intellectual property.
The strategy for MSME digitalization will be implemented by facilitating their onboarding in platforms by mobilizing DTI local (regional and provincial) offices to collaborate with the private sector and LGUs and creating online sellers’ competitiveness programs.
With more local startups and established businesses innovating to fill gaps in the e-commerce space, funding support is needed to help these innovators expand and gain more traction. Part of the key strategies in this roadmap is to advocate for a Philippine Innovative Startup Fund and facilitate the utilization of the venture capital fund of the National Development Corporation (NDC) and other government financial institutions. This will be done in collaboration with private sector funds that can provide equity support for e-commerce investments.
There is still a huge potential for e-commerce growth in the business-to-business segment. This requires the digital transformation of Philippine businesses, such as investments in digital procurement systems and the integration of these with other platforms to establish an omnichannel relationship with customers.
In terms of cross border trade, the Philippines’ relationship with the ASEAN consumer protection network and other similar networks have to be strengthened. This will be instrumental in addressing cross-border trade issues of platforms to facilitate the faster flow of goods within our regional network.
Innovation demands and is driven by skills. Therefore, training and education will be improved to produce a national talent pool that fits the demands of e-commerce, and at the same time, encourage entrepreneurship and ingenuity. Among the initiatives for this strategy includes the encouragement of more formal education programs for e-commerce jobs, implementing the Trabaho/Negosyo E-commerce Skills Initiative, and working with DICT, DOST, and other govt institutions offering capacity-building programs.
Adoption of e-commerce innovations springs from an awareness of what is immediately possible – from market trends, digital tools, policies, and a future that can benefit individuals and businesses who want to participate in online business. Therefore, it is incumbent to communicate and create an e-commerce narrative that shows people why and how it helps them. This will involve (1) information, education, and communication campaigns on various e-commerce themes for sellers, buyers, logistics, and payments companies, (2) awareness and advocacy campaigns on cybersecurity, financial inclusion, privacy, and consumer protection, and (3) campaigns on cross border e-commerce, platforms, and marketplaces.
Among the most important initiatives under this roadmap is to institutionalize and capacitate an E-commerce Bureau that will champion e-commerce initiatives, oversee effective regulation of online business activities, and facilitate inter and intra-agency cooperation. This will be made possible by the Internet Transactions Act.
The private sector’s role in promoting e-commerce and digitalization is also crucial, hence the second organizational strategy – the establishment of an E-commerce Promotion Council which will include stakeholders from both the public and private sector. The first step towards this will involve the identification of strategic areas to be advocated by the council and the preparation of its Terms of Reference.
One of the challenges faced by many countries globally is the lack of standardized statistical data on e-commerce. For us to track progress, we have to come up with measures that can easily be tracked by our statistical authority, as well as studies to help identify key chokepoints in the industry and how these can be solved using finance, insurance, and technological tools. All these will be possible with the updating of our statistical framework and the development of digital tools and a portal for monitoring data-driven programs and interventions in collaboration with e-commerce players.
"All of e-Government" Approach