The Philippines is ready to ride the digital wave in the global economy, as the government has committed to build more digital finance infrastructure to ensure broad-based economic growth.

According to the Department of Finance, digitalization paved the way for greater financial inclusion among Filipinos, with the pandemic expediting developments in the digital space.

Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said building a more robust digital finance infrastructure is critical for a wide-range economic growth in the country.

‘The Marcos administration is committed to establishing the right policy environment to pursue technological innovations that build new industries, enhance public service delivery, and create employment and investment opportunities,’ Diokno said.

‘Increased participation in the formal financial system is critical in deepening our financial and capital markets, growing consumer confidence and extending products and services to previously underserved markets,’ he said.

The finance chief said this would be done by shoring up trust in digital finance to promote its wide adoption and use.

This, as the government targets to digitize half of all retail payments and onboard 70 percent of Filipino adults to the formal financial system by next year.

‘Stronger consumer preference for digital payments will help our micro, small, and medium enterprises tap into new markets, expand their distribution channels and streamline their transaction systems,’ Diokno said.

Further, Diokno said the government would continue investing in digitalization, technological innovation, and human capital development to make the country competitive in a fast-changing and tech-driven global economy.

The World Bank earlier said the adoption of digital technologies could bolster the country’s post-pandemic recovery and help in its poverty reduction goal.

Diokno also ordered the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to accelerate their respective modernization programs to increase the government’s tax effort.

‘The government expects to collect more revenues on the back of a faster and more broad-based economic growth. Efficient and effective tax administration will be critical in funding our socioeconomic priorities,’ Diokno said.

The Finance chief maintained that amendments to the Retail Trade Liberalization Act, Public Service Act, and Foreign Investments Act would ‘widen the space for investments in and joint venture opportunities for enterprises employing cutting-edge technologies.’

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