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INDX Summit looks into digitalizing the Philippines’ economy and education

Day 1 of the INDX Summit 2022

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Are we ready to move to a more digitized Philippines?

This was one of the hottest topics of discussion at Fintech Alliance PH’s INDX Summit 2022, where thought leaders from the fintech and banking world gathered to discuss the digital transformation of the Philippines – its challenges, impacts and innovations.

Central Bank Governor Felipe Medalla, Economic Department Secretary Benjamin Diokno, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon, Health Undersecretary Enrique Tayag and private sector leaders Jose Antonio Tan III The INDX Summit was held at the Enderun Tent in McKinley Hill. , Taguig City November 22 –

The first day of the event covered many topics, but the most controversial were the panel discussions on digital transformation and inclusion in the Philippines and the future of education in the country.

The Philippines’ transition to a more digitalized economy

Pictured: Roby Alampay, Jose Antonio Tan III, Eugene Acevedo, Shailesh Baidwan

For the Southeast Asian country’s young, tech-savvy population — already named the texting and social media capital of the world — digitization should be no stranger. The question is, who should lead the digital transformation of the Philippines – the government or the private sector? And what indicators show that it has already been digitized?

Jose Antonio Tan III, Head of Southeast Asia, Asian Development Bank; Eugene Acevedo Chairman of Asian Bankers Association and CEO of RCBC; Shailesh Baidwan, Group CEO of Voyager Innovations and Maya Philippines and Founder of Maya Bank; Usec. Rosemarie G. Edillon, Undersecretary for Policy and Planning, National Economic & Development Authority; Martha Sazon, CEO of GCash; and Jean-Marc Arbogast, Country Director of the International Finance Corporation I World Bank Group, looked at these points in the “Philippines Through Digital Transformation and Inclusion” panel moderated by One News and Asia Regional Advisor Roby Alampay.

Alampay kicked off the debate by posing the huge question of who should lead the country’s digitization. The public was also able to participate through an interactive survey. The results of the survey showed that the government should lead such a change. However, for the panel, it should be a partnership from both the private and public sectors.

After sharing his thoughts on the matter, Alampay asked about the indicators why the Philippines is not there yet in terms of digital transformation.

Knowing this was a setup issue, Sazon responded optimistically that the Philippines is already making progress digitally. He even told the panel how even panhandlers knew how to use GCash and talked about digital tools that could help Filipinos move forward.

“A quote for the underserved. You have to give people the means to progress,” Sazon said.

Usec.  Rosemary G. Edillon, Martha Season, Jean-Marc Arbogast
Pictured: Usec. Rosemarie G. Edillon, Martha Sazon, Jean-Marc Arbogast

As for Arbogast, this movement is held back by a lack of infrastructure, while Baidwan says the country’s government and private companies should focus more on training Filipinos.

“Most people are looking for a genuine way to expand through digital transformation,” Baidwan said.

Commenting on the matter, newly appointed BSV Blockchain Ambassador and nChain Philippines Country Director Nicholas King, who also attended the INDX Summit, says the Southeast Asian country is now in a massive adoption phase, with massive adoption on social media. However, there are still some things that could be improved, primarily the dependence of Filipinos on paperwork when doing government transactions.

“I can’t believe how much paperwork you have to produce every time you do one transaction with the government,” King tells CoinGeek on the sidelines of the event. “Blockchain can get rid of all these paper processes.”

Philippine education: Struggles and opportunities

Before the pandemic, there were many different issues in the education of Filipinos, but one of the most compelling was the lack of space in the classroom. According to The Guardian, Batasan National High School, a public school in the Philippines, has resorted to two shifts to accommodate its 18,638 students. This means that class hours are divided into two parts, like a morning shift and a night shift at work.

Discussion about the future of the education panel
Discussion about the future of the education panel

The country’s large youth population puts enormous pressure on the education system. However, the system is plagued by more problems, such as poor facilities, insufficient funding, teacher quality, program materials and accessibility. These were discussed in the “Digital transformation and the future of education: trends, challenges, future” panel.

For Edukasyon.ph founder and chief strategy officer Henry Motte-Muñoz, the biggest issues are transparency, sense of urgency and expectations.

John Benedict Bellosillo, Chief Growth Officer of Bukas, revealed the key difference in education between Indonesia and the Philippines, revealing that Indonesia tends towards skills-based education while the Philippines focuses more on degrees.

“The landscape is very different, and of course the market there is three times bigger than ours,” Bellosillo noted. “We have a clear problem that we want to solve. We are very clear that we want to make sure that every Filipino has the opportunity to get a quality private education and start building a career to lift their family out of poverty,” John reiterated.

The panel discussed “blended learning,” a hybrid setting introduced due to COVID-19. This learning method combines traditional in-person lessons and online learning materials.

Poll question for the INDX Summit 2022 audience
Poll question for the INDX Summit 2022 audience

For some, like Dir. According to David Bugallo, TESDA Deputy Director General for Policy and Planning OIC of the Office of Technology, this arrangement works as the Philippines continues to cope with the effects of the pandemic. However, Internet connections are still a problem, especially in rural areas.

“One important thing in designing this connected learning is the determination indicators. We have so-called learning outcomes. So in this process we have some achievement charts and until these learning outcomes are covered in each module, we can say that learning progress has been achieved,” Bugallon explained.

Mapua University Rector Dr. Reynaldo Vea agreed that blended learning is the right way to go, but educational institutions should decide the implementation. He added that the government could send everything digitally, but in rural areas the problem is the signal, and from his point of view it must be solved first.

“There are classes that are best done online and face-to-face,” noted Dr. Vea.

Henry Motte-Munoz, John Benedict D. Bellosillo, Dr. Reynaldo B. Vea, Dir.  David Bugallon
Henry Motte-Munoz, John Benedict D. Bellosillo, Dr. Reynaldo B. Vea, Dir. David Bugallon

Bugallon added that instead of considering continuing face-to-face education, we should recognize that students today are smarter than students of the past. “Our learning process should be learner-centered instead of teacher-centered,” he noted.

Regarding his thoughts on the matter and as a father of four, King said that education should not be digitized, especially for children.

“Children need social interaction. They need to develop interaction skills and that cannot be done by digitizing the process,” he said, noting that this could be done for adults attending online courses or colleges. “I think education can be digitized for adults because they may already be in the workforce… and blockchain can help by enabling online testing and issuing certificates.”

Speaking of online courses, King encourages anyone who wants to learn more about new technologies like blockchain and digital currencies to check out the Bitcoin SV Academy.

Watch: Philippine Web3 Festival Press Conference: How PH Leads the Way in Defining Innovation

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New to Bitcoin? Check out CoinGeek Bitcoin for beginners section, the definitive resource guide to learn more about Bitcoin – as originally designed by Satoshi Nakamoto – and blockchain.



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