November 16, 2022
Yesterday’s regional launch of NRI 2022 in partnership with USAID and BusinessWorld surfaced many valuable insights from government representatives, civil service organizations, and industry on digital transformation in Southeast Asia and the Philippines.
The event opened with remarks from Jocelle Batapa-Sigue (Undersecretary for ICT Industry Development, Department of Information and Communication Technology) who underlined the Philippines commitment to supporting the Filipino youth in the journey into the digital future.
The presentation of NRI 2022 results revealed that all Southeast Asian economies experienced positive movement this year, with Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand leading the region.
Six middle- and low-income economies in Southeast Asia stand out above their expected levels of development in one or more NRI pillars, mainly Technology and Impact, which reflects the region’s strengths.
The Philippines in particular stands out for its performance in the People pillar, and its significant improvements in the rankings over the past year.
The panel discussion centered around several important themes – renewed focus on digital inclusion, bridging remaining gender gaps and urban/rural divides, digitalization efforts for government, business, and human capital, aligning ICT regulation with international best practices, fostering trust around technology, improving digital access and infrastructure, and the critical role of cybersecurity in today’s digital economy and workplace.
“The Philippines has a demographic advantage as a result of its large young population of digital natives, and strong mobile workforce.” – Mary Jean Pacheco, Assistant Secretary, Digital Philippines, Department of Trade and Industry
“At the heart of access to technology and digital solutions is access to infrastructure. Such access should not be restricted to those in urban areas.” – Mary Grace Mirandilla-Santos, Lead Advocate, Better Internet PH
“Young people have great influence as a digitally native generation. They will play an important role in shaping our digital future and should be included in conversations on ICT planning and development.” – Rafael Escalona Reynoso, CEO and Secretary for the Board, Portulans Institute
“Governments must be deliberate in making sure that digital technologies are accessible to all, including those with disabilities and other marginalized communities.” – Dale Pascual Jose, National Technology Officer, Microsoft Philippines
“NRI metrics can help policymakers design effective digital strategies that address regional and economy-specific needs. With renewed focus on areas for improvement, we can continue the progress that we’re seeing in the Philippines.” – John Garrity, Chief of Party, USAID’s BEACON Project
In his closing remarks, Eric Florimon-Reed (Deputy Director, OEDG, USAID/Philippines) emphasized the importance of continuing to improve the digital ecosystem to be more responsive to the needs of citizens, and brought awareness to the demographic groups who are at risk of becoming excluded as a result of not participating in the digital economy.
“This year’s progress in the NRI highlights our dedication to enhance the Philippines capacity to provide increased digital capability and be more responsive to the needs of citizens.” – Eric Florimon-Reed, Deputy Director, OEDG, USAID/Philippines
For more information, visit the official NRI website at https://networkreadinessindex.org/
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