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Philippines to partner with US, India to construct digital public infrastructure

Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez is proposing a partnership among the Philippines, the United States of America, and India in building a digital public infrastructure in the country.

He attended the Digital Public Infrastructure lecture on Saturday at the International Monetary Fund headquarters in Washington D.C. where he had a brief chat with Nandan Nilekani, one of the founders of Indian multinational information technology company Infosys.

“I think it is very important for the Philippines, India, and the US to lead in this digital public infrastructure initiative because nations have much to gain from this,” he said.

Romualdez said to build public digital platforms “is very much aligned with the campaign promise of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to speed up the country’s digital transformation.”

“This is the reason why the House of Representatives has passed the E-Governance/E-Government Bill, which seeks to shift the entire bureaucracy to the digital space for faster and transparent delivery of services, and for better engagement with the public,” he said.

“Digitalization will definitely prove to be the panacea to the economic problems left behind by COVID-19,” he added.

Digital public infrastructure is defined as infrastructure that allows people to engage in public and civic life in digital space. It is funded mostly by the government and taxpayers. It is not profit-oriented, unlike privately owned digital platforms that rake in billions mostly from advertising.

Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno, Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Gov. Felipe Medalla, and National Economic and Development Authority Secretary Arsenio Balisacan attended the World Bank-International Monetary Fund Spring Meetings, and generated positive and encouraging remarks from businessmen, WB, IMF and bank officials on the country’s strong economy.

The four members of President Marcos’ economic team had briefedIMF and World Bank officials and potential American investors on the state of the country’s economy.

Romualdez said during the event, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva extended her best wishes to the Philippines and its strong economy.

“She is very, very delighted with our attendance and presence during the Spring Meeting of the IMF here in Washington D.C. We look forward to further interaction with the IMF, World Bank, and other leading financial institutions,” Speaker Romualdez said.

In a meeting with the President’s economic team, the Speaker assured them “that your House of Representatives is very much supportive of the President’s Agenda for Prosperity and 8-point socioeconomic program.”

“We would like to congratulate them for a job well done in presenting the state of our economy to US investors,” he said.

In his remarks before prospective investors and IMF and WB officials, Diokno said the 2022-2028 Medium Term Fiscal Framework, which Congress passed shortly after it convened in July last year, “serves as a compass to steer the economy closely along the patch of fiscal sustainability and economic growth.”

“The targets and measures under this framework are firmly supported not only by the President but also by both houses of Congress,” he said.

He cited economic liberalization measures Congress recently approved to attract more foreign investments, such as the amended Public Service Act, Foreign Investments Act, and Retail Trade Liberalization Act.

Last year, Diokno said the economy posted “a 46-year record-high growth rate of 7.6 percent.”

“This was higher than our full-year target of 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent and exceeded forecasts of local private sector analysts and international financial institutions, placing the Philippines among the best-performing economies in the Asia-Pacific region,” he said.

He said the growth target this year is 6 percent to 7 percent. Manilastandard

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