PH needs to push S&T, innovation to boost economic growth: NEDA

Socio-economic planning secretary Ernesto Pernia has stressed the need to vigorously advance the country’s science, technology and innovation (STI) agenda, which is key to economic growth and improving the quality of life of Filipinos.

Speaking in Business Intelligence and Data Analytics Forum and Showcase on Friday, July 26, Pernia said building an STI ecosystem is essential as the government embarks on efforts to strengthen science and technology.

He pointed out that the Philippines can benefit immensely from the adoption of digital technology such as analytics, which can help organizations efficiently and immediately identify problems, come up with solutions, and even create new goods and services.

“For us in the public sector, there is much to be done in terms of fully utilizing data analytics. We need to catch up with science, technology and innovation. We need to upgrade our IT infrastructure, create networks and database inter-operability between and among agencies, and produce a skilled and nimble workforce that can optimize the use of these emerging technologies,” he said.

Pernia, also director-general of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), said the government has been actively improving its systems and is shifting to e-governance.

He the government has established a Project Digital Imaging for Monitoring and Evaluation that monitors public sector projects through light detection and ranging technology, satellites, and drones.

“Developing our capability to adopt, produce, and utilize these types of technologies will allow us to not only raise our economic growth potential but also improve the lives of our people through quality public services,” he added.

The NEDA chief said technological innovations can further upgrade various industries, particularly the information technology-business process outsourcing (IT-BPO) sector, which has contributed about 10 percent to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and 15 percent to formal employment.

He further underscored the important role of academics, such as scientists and engineers, in the supply side of the STI ecosystem.

“But to make the ecosystem alive and functional, there must be demand for what scientists and engineers produce — i.e., the demand on the side of the private sector— business people, including industrialists, entrepreneurs, and capitalists,” he added. — Leslie Gatpolintan (PNA)

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