Monday, May 27, 2024

Private Sector Advisory Council outlines digital transformation plan for gov’t

The Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC) has presented a strategic proposal to Pres. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. that aims to significantly enhance Internet connectivity and create one million digital jobs.

A significant development from the meeting is advancing the 10,000 Digital Civil Servants project. An imminent Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with partners, including the Civil Service Commission, Private Sector Jobs & Skills Corp (PCORP), and leading enterprises like Ayala, SM Group, National University, and Mapua, will kickstart this initiative.

The project will begin with a foundational training of 40 participants in Singapore, who will lead a larger training cohort in the Philippines, significantly boosting the capabilities of our government’s digital services.

Marcos Jr. has also directed a strategic focus on creating one million digital jobs by 2028, emphasizing aligning these opportunities with the evolving needs of the labor market.

He has advocated for a presidential directive to empower the Inter-Agency Council for Development and Competitiveness of the Philippine Digital Workforce, which will spearhead public-private partnerships essential for targeted skills development and training programs.

In addressing the critical need for broader Internet coverage, Marcos Jr. has prioritized expanding connectivity in Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDA), supporting infrastructure development to bridge digital divides.

Efforts by the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) aim to streamline the permitting processes and reduce bureaucratic delays in deploying telecommunications infrastructure.

Additionally, DOE secretary Rapahel Lotilla introduced a security and rationalization program for protecting submarine cables and transmission lines, which is crucial for ensuring uninterrupted digital connectivity, especially in regions prone to land reclamation activities.

Looking forward, PSAC said it will develop a detailed proposal for nationwide digital connectivity following a commercial agreement model to facilitate the construction and establishment of needed infrastructure.

“With these government-endorsed initiatives, we are set to transform the Philippine digital infrastructure, ensuring competitiveness in the global digital economy and fostering digital inclusivity for all Filipinos,” stated Henry Aguda, PSAC Digital Infrastructure Sector lead and UnionDigital president and CEO.

Aguda cited DILG secretary Benhur Abalos for his role in implementing Executive Order 32, which streamlines the telecommunications and Internet infrastructure permitting process even as he highlighted the Anti-Red Tape Authority’s (ARTA) involvement in the effort.

“Secretary Abalos’s collaboration with ARTA has significantly accelerated our national digital infrastructure rollout, advancing us towards nationwide connectivity,” Aguda remarked.

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