The Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC) Digital Infrastructure convenes the GoDigital Pilipinas (GDP) movement with the vision of empowering Filipino citizens through technology, for a connected and inclusive society. The campaign heeds the call of the government to address the risk of a digital divide by promoting digital literacy and building a sustainable digital ecosystem, ensuring that in a world of rapid digitalization, no Filipino is left behind.
The GoDigital movement was officially launched on Monday, January 30 following the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) public forum “From Plan to Action: Philippine Development Plan 2023 – 2028” held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).
During his meeting with the PSAC Digital Infrastructure Sector last January 12, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. gave his full support to the movement, which he echoed in his speech at the NEDA forum.
“Every part of society must be part of this transformation. If we manage to put together these best minds that can apply their particular talents to the problems that we face, we will set sail towards transforming our sectors in key areas, such as digitalization, in order to build a better data system that will create better government programs,” the President said.
“In line with this, I welcome the launch of the GoDigital Pilipinas movement, which will advocate digitalization initiatives and nationwide digital upskilling of marginalized Filipinos in collaboration with the TESDA and the Inter-Agency Council on Philippine Digital Workforce,” he added.
GoDigital aligns with the administration’s six-year socioeconomic agenda, and beyond, with its whole-of-society approach encapsulated in the Philippine Development Plan (PDP). The PDP’s ultimate goal is to reinvigorate job creation and accelerate poverty reduction for a prosperous, inclusive, and resilient Philippines. The public forum “From Plan to Action” highlights the key features of the PDP and the next steps both government and non-government sectors are taking to implement it.
“PSAC Digital Infrastructure is ready to support the nation’s development blueprint and digitalization agenda through the GoDigital Pilipinas (GDP) movement. Working together, the public and private sector will ensure that every Filipino has the tools and the skills to thrive in our revitalized society,” PSAC Digital Infrastructure Sector Lead and Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) Chief Technology Operations and Chief Transformation Officer Henry Aguda said.
Leveraging the expertise and resources of the private sector, GoDigital complements the public sector digital initiatives through the five-PACES plan: (1) the creation of Policies and programs that promote the development of digital infrastructure and services; (2) the expansion of Access to digital technologies and digital literacy training to all citizens; (3) the development of digital skills and Capabilities; (4) the promotion of digital Entrepreneurship and innovation; and (5) the Security of digital rights and privacy.
Regarding the development of digital skills and capabilities through upskilling, the movement focuses on sectors of society that may need specialized training and mentoring tailored to their needs. This includes rural workers, who number more than 10 million nationwide, as well as the elderly, persons deprived of liberty, indigenous people, and those differently abled.
It draws on the success of public and private sector digital upskilling initiatives, including UnionBank’s partnership with Tahanang Walang Hagdanan Inc. (TWHI) training and employing differently-abled Filipinos as data analysts. Initially designed as one-off events, UnionBank envisioned lasting initiatives that upskilled and provided employment opportunities. As a result, UnionBank built a Command Center on TWHI to provide on-site training, leading to all initial training candidates being employed by UnionBank to do remote monitoring of transactions.
In their January 12 meeting with President Marcos, the PSAC Digital Infrastructure group cited a 2022 study conducted by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and LinkedIn. The study found that on average, employers required eight out of the last 10 candidates hired in the past year to possess basic digital literacy and skills, and four of the last 10 hires to possess advanced digital literacy and skills.
Among ASEAN countries, however, the Philippines lags behind in terms of basic information and communications technology (ICT) skills.
Through contextualized mentoring and training under the GoDigital movement, every Filipino can receive the basic digital skills education they deserve. With the insight of PSAC Digital Infrastructure and its partners, that education will assuredly be relevant and current to meet the demands of the economy.
The GoDigital movement is convened by the PSAC Digital Infrastructure group members, including Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank), PLDT, Globe, and Converge.
Joining them in commitment to nationwide digital upskilling are the most respected corporations and organizations in the field of Information Technology (IT), banking, and beyond: the Aboitiz Foundation, Abogadong Pinoy, the CIO Forum Foundation, the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines, the Fintech Philippines Association, Gabay Guro, the Information Security Officers Group (ISOG), the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD), the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, the IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines, the Management Association of the Philippines, the Metaverse Ventures and Platforms, mWell Philippines, the Philippine Bar Association, Tahanang Walang Hagdanan Inc. (TWHI), ULI Philippines, the Proptech Consortium, and Digital Pilipinas.
In addition to private sector partners, GoDigital is a collaboration with TESDA and the Inter-Agency on Philippine Digital Workforce.
PSAC is convened by Aboitiz Group President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sabin Aboitiz. The PSAC Digital Infrastructure group was formed to provide President Marcos with practical recommendations that promote wider internet access and advance digitization initiatives. The group is led by UnionBank Chief Technology and Operations Officer Henry Aguda, who is joined by esteemed members PLDT President and CEO Al Panlilio, Globe President and CEO Ernest Cu, Converge CEO and Co-Founder Dennis Anthony Uy, and Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) Chief Operating Officer (COO) Ramon Jocson.
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