United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development


(Maximum Delivery Time: Three (3) Minutes)

4th Annual Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology
and Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals

Ministerial Segment (Session 2): Strengthening capacity and policy for the
development of science, technology, and innovation roadmaps
14 May 2019, 12:00-13:00 pm

To be delivered by
Hon. Mr. Ivin Ronald Alzona, Assistant Secretary
Department of Information and Communications Technology

The Philippine Government has always supported the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals. Our country has worked towards achieving the SDGs with mostly positively results. These efforts have contributed to the Philippine’s long-term vision of having a strongly-rooted, comfortable, and secure life for Filipinos by 2040.

To achieve its vision, the Philippine Government is implementing the Philippine Development Plan, which aims to found a society that is more inclusive, more resilient, and has a globally competitive knowledge economy by expanding its economic opportunities in Industry and Services .

The Plan aims to attract foreign direct investments that bring in new technologies and competition in key public utilities. It also seeks to implement dynamic, competitive, and effective ICT policies that help develop high value added, competitive, and sustainable sectors. Furthermore, the Plan champions the improvement of Filipinos’ access to technology and innovation by encouraging and fostering technopreneurship and the adoption of new technologies to spur the development of new services.

In the implementation of the Philippine Development Plan, our government faces a range of challenges. We need to find ways to increase the competitiveness of industry sectors that are vulnerable to global market changes. We also need to bridge the technical and practical skills mismatch of our local workforce and the human capital needs of these sectors. The Filipino consumers also need to learn their rights to safety and information, among others.

In order to support the achievement of the Philippine government’s vision, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) encourages participation of Filipinos in the digital economy through the activities of the digitalstartups PH Initiative.

The Initiative acknowledges that young Filipinos need to become engaged in the digital economy. In order to ensure this, the Department hosts the Philippine Startup Challenge, a national competition that exposes students, both those in high school and in college, to startup activities, and competitions. Teachers are also capacitated through bootcamps that impress upon them the value of innovation.

Local governments receive assistance to develop and grow their own startup ecosystem by providing them with the tools and trainings they need to enable them to become innovation centers and investment destinations. Startup workshops, and mapping exercises are conducted to enhance the understanding of local governments about the ICT industry, as well as what they need to do to attract, improve, and expand this sector. Digital economic opportunities that spur inclusive growth and development in the countryside are promoted by these activities.

The Department is coordinating its efforts towards growing and developing the local digital ecosystem with other government agencies like the Department of Trade and Industry, and the Department of Science and Technology. The three departments are committed to streamlining their respective programs on science, technology, and innovation so that there are no overlaps. The Department of Interior and Local Government is also being engaged to promote digital governance to local governments.

Finally, the Department has constantly worked with the local IT-BPM industry to identify the necessary interventions needed to prepare our local workforce to meet the demands of the industry.

The long-term vision of giving Filipinos a strongly-rooted, comfortable, and secure life, is a vision essentially rooted in the fulfillment of the sustainable development goals. From the onset, our Department’s efforts in promoting science, technology, and innovation have been informed by this vision, and we remain determined to continue contributing towards its attainment.

Thank you.