In addition, Rejano said the government should support ICT adoption in non-IT industries like resources and agriculture. "A vision of digital agriculture in the long term is needed. Where the farmers can sit at their homes waiting for a message on their smartphones saying their crops can now be harvested. However, this process should be done gradually. The collaboration between the public sector and service providers will be the most important stage right now."
- Address connectivity problem on a major scale. New regulations to speed up the Internet connection development in the country are necessary to address connectivity problem. IDC added the government should penalise service providers who are unable to deliver Internet speeds as promised.
"In addition, support for the global telco in the Philippine market is also needed to spur competition. This action will ultimately give consumers better services at lower cost. But in the same vein, the government should endeavour to shorten the starting business process in the country and cut red tape surrounding the establishment of telco infrastructures such as cell sites and fibre builds," added Rejano.
- Increased focus on cybersecurity. IDC said that the recent leakage of personal information of Filipino voters should be a wake-up call for the next administration to take cybersecurity in earnest.
"The looming threat of cyberattacks could potentially jeopardise the Philippine's e-government initiatives, such as iGovPhil and MITHI, especially for those who involve the use or submission of confidential data. Moreover, these cyberattacks have negative implications on the country's suitability as an ICT hub, after the latest string of cyberattacks on the government," explained Agapito.
- Bigger focus on BPO sector in the Philippines. According to IDC, the BPO sector is expected to surpass the gross domestic product (GDP) contribution of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). In line, the government must address the shortage of skilled labor and at the same time professionalise the industry.
The IDC suggested Department of Education (DepEd) and Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to collaborate to align the education curriculum with the demands and requirements of the IT sector.
- Provide greater support to Smart City initiatives. The key hurdle to the government to implement smart city initiatives is budget. As such, greater budget allocation on this area will help the projects come to fruition, said Jerome Dominguez, Market Analyst in IDC Philippines. "Through Smart Cities, the improvement of quality of life and better delivery of government services will be achieved. Healthy collaboration among the local government, solution providers, and other government agencies is also key in driving these projects forward."
- Drive growth toward the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) sector. The IDC noted that SME ecosystems-which include startups and microenterprises-of developed markets in other ASEAN countries like Singapore are more solid compared to the Philippines. This can be greatly attributed to the support of Singapore government on their SME's initiatives.
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