The Digital Pilipinas movement aims to influence change through technology and innovation across the local and global spheres. Started in 2020, it brings together representatives from different industries to discuss how to achieve a digitally-empowered Philippines.
This year’s iteration, Digital Pilipinas: a Closer Look at the Philippine Sandbox, was launched on July 22 and will be a series of conferences, forums, and other initiatives participated in by pioneers, change-makers, and leading voices in the tech and innovation industry as well as emerging start-ups that flourished as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The series will culminate on November 11-12, 2021 at the World FinTech Festival Philippines that will gather the top tech leaders in the country to share their insights on trends and how organizations can become stronger in the new normal.
“Innovations are being spearheaded in the sandbox of Asia. We need to do more than just raise our innovation quotient as a country and as a people to remain competitive. More importantly, we need to demand a technology and innovation quotient from our future leaders,” said Digital Pilipinas Convenor and GeiserMaclang Marketing Communications, Inc. Co-Founder Amor Maclang in her welcome remarks.
In his keynote speech, Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Chief FinTech Officer Sopnendu Mohanty said, “You must ensure that the sandbox will benefit all the citizens for the public good. We are promoting technology for people to progress, so the public good is important to make the sandbox successful.” He added, “If there’s one market in Asia which has the biggest potential to completely transform, it’s the Philippines.”
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez supported this in his keynote speech and said, “Before the pandemic, the government has already been utilizing digitalization to push the ease of doing business. The adoption of e-commerce facilitated the digital transformation of business. The government remains committed to its role in enabling different stakeholders in our country to ensure our people benefits in [sic] e-commerce.”
For his part, Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Carlos Dominguez said in his keynote speech “Our economies will need to adjust to modern technologies if they want to remain viable. Even before the pandemic, the Philippine government encouraged the rapid rise of FinTech in our country, and our revenue agencies have fully embraced digitalization.“
With the theme, ‘A Whole of Nation, Whole of Society Approach for Technology and Innovation’, the first panel discussion was led by Global Impact FinTech (GIFT) Co-Founder and Chairman Malik Kotadia. He was joined by Mohanty, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Deputy Director Ace Alvaro, DTI Asec. Mary Jean Pacheco, AFIN/APIX: ASEAN Financial Innovation Network Director Pieter Franken, and Overseas Filipino Bank President and CEO Leila Martin in an engaging discussion about the importance of technology and innovation as a means for national progress and prosperity.
The first of the two-part fireside discussion was led by Maclang and FinTech Philippines Trustee Ida Tiongson. The session gathered innovation market leaders in an engaging discussion about how they were dealing with industry issues and challenges, and how they are pushing boundaries through tech. They shared how they applied what they learned from the transformation of their companies to the tech development of their industries to make them even more competitive. They were joined by Dragonpay President Robertson “Dick” Chiang; MYNT Chief Customer Officer Winsley Bangit; Insular Life First Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Gwendolyn Kelley; KPMG in the Philippines Head of Cybersecurity and IT Advisory Jallain Manrique; Union Bank of the Philippines Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Technology and Operations Officer Henry Aguda; and Tier One Entertainment Chief Executive Officer Tryke Gutierrez
The second part was moderated by best-selling Filipino NFT artist and NFT63 Co-founder and CEO Luis Buenaventura and focused on emerging voices in the tech industry. The discussion centered on the groundbreaking methods they used to persuade people to embrace innovations like cashless payments, cloud tech, online education, and e-commerce. He was joined by Angkas Chief Transport Advocate George Royeca; The Bow Tie Duck Co-founder Julien Marie; Kimstore Founder and CEO Kim Lato; Locad CEO and Co-Founder Constantin Robertz from Locad; Philippine Coding Camp President Gabriel Avelino ‘Gino’ Sampedro; UNObank CEO and Co-founder Manish Bhai; 8Ventures Chairman & CEO Jay Ricky Villarante; and Xendit Philippines Managing Director Yang Yang Zhang.
The Digital Pilipinas ecosystem is populated by frontrunners in the technology and innovation scene including national line agencies, foreign and local industry groups, and corporations. The movement has a 12-point agenda that aims to provide solutions to overcome challenges within the Philippine industry and economic ecosystem and introduce a method to leverage ICT-driven opportunities. The agenda covers FinTech, GovTech, and RegTech; PropTech; Digital Transformation; Overseas Filipino Banking; Future of Mobility; InsureTech; E-Commerce; Cyber Security; Internet of Energy; Future of Education; Digital Cities; and Gaming.