DTI Delves Into AI Technology to Improve Philippine Economy

Jan 2024

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Alfredo Pascual have met with Silicon Valley Technology companies and investors for a discussion of possible partnerships in utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) technology, specifically in upskilling Filipino workers. 

During the meeting, Secretary Pascual highlighted programs and initiatives by the Philippine government to support the advancement of AI technology in the country. He stated that fostering a future-ready workforce is a collaborative effort that should be undertaken by both public and private stakeholders. He said that since these digitalization efforts demand a shared responsibility, an alliance must be formed that capitalizes on the strengths of both sectors. As the government employs a whole-of-society approach, it urges its partners from the local and global industry to work with them in ensuring inclusive economic development.

He presented the Philippines’s implementation of the AI roadmap that is expected to boost hiring and creation of new products, in addition to upskilling the Filipino workforce. Secretary Pascual also emphasized that the country’s AI policies and technologies would increase labor instead of replacing it to create job opportunities and the emergence of new tasks. He stated that AI has the potential to promote inclusive, resilient, and sustainable industrial development in the country. 

In addition, he stated that the Philippines is positioning itself as a “Center of Excellence in Artificial Intelligence,” with over 50 tech startups using AI and 83% of Southeast Asian countries actively developing AI strategies. He emphasized that the National AI Strategy aims to improve the lives of the population, boost enterprise productivity, and enhance economic competitiveness. 

Secretary Pascual presented four strategic dimensions for the implementation of this National AI strategy: digitalization and infrastructure; workforce development; regulation; and research and development (R&D). These strategies are expected to lead the country’s economic growth and expansion as these will enable industries to keep pace with the demands of the fast-changing technology.

Furthermore, he stated that this strategy is intended to maintain local industries’ regional and global competitiveness, identifying key areas for investment in R&D and technology, R&D collaboration, preparing the workforce for emerging jobs, and attracting major industries to create jobs in the Philippines.  

The meeting was co-organized by the DTI with Thomas Pompidou, David DeWalt of NightDragon, and Manny Maceda of Bain & Company. 

(Source: Philippine News Agency)

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