PHILIPPINES SHARE INITIATIVES TOWARD DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION AND NARROWING DIGITAL DIVIDE AT THE FIRST ASIA PACIFIC DIGITAL MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE 2022

By: Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines, SEOUL

SEOUL, 14 November 2022 - Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Secretary Ivan John E. Uy led the Philippine delegation to the First Asia Pacific Digital Ministerial Conference 2022. Co-hosted by the United Nations' Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific and the Republic of Korea's Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT), the Ministerial Conference agreed to strengthen cooperation in promoting connectivity and transformation towards a safe and inclusive digital society in the Asia-Pacific region. Aside from serving as the Philippine head of delegation, Secretary Uy was also nominated as the Vice-Chair of the First Asia Pacific Digital Ministerial Conference.

Department of Information and Communications Technology Secretary Ivan John E. Uy led the Philippine delegation to the First Asia-Pacific Digital Ministerial Conference 2022, where communication ministers and leaders from ESCAP member states discussed digital development and growth in Asia and the Pacific. The Secretary was joined by Philippine Ambassador to Korea Theresa Dizon-De Vega, DICT Assistant Secretary Philip Varilla, and Third Secretary and Vice Consul Reisha Olavario.
Emphasizing that no country should be lagging behind digital innovation, Secretary Uy underscored that the Philippine government under the Marcos administration recognizes that for the Philippines to fully and unconditionally benefit from digital transformation, access to its many opportunities and potential should be equally afforded to every Filipino citizen.

To this end, Secretary Uy announced that the Philippines is currently deploying digital connectivity across its various islands guided by the blueprint for the deployment of broadband connectivity across the nation. Aside from digital connectivity, the DICT also informed the body that it is working towards improving efficiency in the delivery of PH public services, focusing on the continuous digitalization and integration of government and business services online pursuant to the Ease of Doing Business Act of 2018. Secretary Uy likewise emphasized that the DICT is exploring ways to integrate and promote the adoption of new technologies, such as big data, Artificial Intelligence or AI, robotics, cloud computing, among others to improve national competitiveness.

ROK Minister Lee Jung-Ho also expressed the willingness of the Republic of Korea to share best policy practices for digital paradigm transformation that will propel the region to economic prosperity. Ambassador Theresa Dizon-De Vega was likewise present during the Ministerial meeting.

At the end of the Ministerial Conference, ESCAP member countries agreed to continue to work together harmoniously in achieving UN ESCAP's goal of delivering quality digital services to the Asia-Pacific region. END