Think tank Stratbase ADRi urged government to take advantage of the momentum of collaboration with the private sector to establish long-term and sustainable programs in the digital sphere as investments in technology are expected to generate exponential benefits for Filipinos today and even up to the next generation.
Victor Andres Manhit, president of Stratbase ADRi, said the prolonged lockdown hastened Filipinos adoption of technology both in their professional and personal lives.
“The pandemic taught us, even those who were not inclined to believe it, that the digital world not only covers the work that we do but also the details of our everyday lives,” he said.
“We learned it was possible to buy our groceries or medicine, talk to a doctor, and conduct our banking affairs online. Our children went to school online. Connectivity became a basic human need.”
With government having its hands full responding to the pandemic and other problems like endemic corruption, the logical course of action is to turn to the private sector as an indispensable partner.
Manhit said the pandemic should have provided the government with clear insight into what the country needs to achieve its digital potential. Recognizing that the private sector has the wherewithal and expertise to build and maintain such initiatives, the government should actively pursue collaboration to enable more Filipinos to cross the digital divide.
At the same time, he also emphasized the need to empower Filipinos through training and upskilling so they can make the most out of the available digital technologies.
It doesn’t take a think tank to see the importance of collaboration between the government and the private sector, especially when it comes to something as critical to our future as taking full advantage of the digitalization that we have started to fully appreciate as we dealt with the limitations imposed by life during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Most of the life-changing innovations that have helped us to deal with the pandemic may have come from the private sector, but it was only possible because of the infrastructure and support provided government. We can only imagine what we can achieve if both sectors can collaborate and work together even more closely than before.*