MANILA, Philippines – Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Alfredo Pascual, Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Undersecretary David Almirol Jr., International Finance Corporation Country Manager Jean-Marc Arbogast, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative Selva Ramachandran, Digital Pilipinas Convenor Amor Maclang, and Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Chief FinTech Officer Sopnendu Mohanty led the back-to-back back partnership launch of the Philippine FinTech Festival (PFF) and the SME-Financial Empowerment (SFE) Programme of the MAS last August 12, 2022.
“The PFF will take a deep, constructive dive into the issues surrounding the cooperation of local enterprises at the national and regional levels,” said Maclang. “Working with the public sector to increase the country’s digital quotient has always been part of Digital Pilipinas’ advocacy.”
According to Digital Pilipinas, more than 200 key stakeholders, thought leaders, policymakers, regulators, and some of the country’s biggest technology companies are expected to join the PFF, with the goal of highlighting the evolution of technology and its impact on financial services, especially on ASEAN.
“The PFF will help prepare the SMEs for the new and greater global digital economy. Our dream is to migrate the SMEs into an e-commerce platform and we have been doing so, one SME at a time,” Maclang added.
The PFF is scheduled to launch on October 17, 2022, and will mark the opening ceremony of the ASEAN FinTech Month. It will be followed by Cambodia on October 24, Thailand on October 27, and will lead up to the annual Singapore FinTech Festival (SFF) in November.
“The PFF is a partner of the World FinTech Festival, which is a series of local market showcases, sector deep-dives, and networking opportunities organized in collaboration with a global network of trusted partners building up to the SFF,” Digital Pilipinas said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Pascual emphasized the importance of technology for the SMEs’ products to be “seen and sold.”
“Technology is redefining industries, as well as SMEs, which need the help of the FinTech community to broaden their scope. They may have ideas, but how do they bring them about. One of the DTI’s major projects is a digital platform that will allow small businesses to buy and sell their products, a digital shopping mall that will allow enterprises in retail to conduct businesses digitally,” the DTI Chief added.
This idea was supported by Almirol, but the DICT Undersecretary also cited examples of challenges, explaining that “there are too many manual systems in government which is outdated with insufficient staffing … Then, in one agency and after months of training, that individual would resign. What will now happen to the technology we built, our projects of connectivity?”
BitPinas attended the back-to-back back partnership launch of the PFF and SME-SFE Programme and wrote about how Pascual and Almirol saw the importance of the private sector in expanding digitalization in the country.
Aside from the names mentioned above, other fintech companies were also present at the said event, some of them are Coins.ph, GCash, Paymonggo UnionBank, Alibaba Clouds, and more.
“I am glad that there is a Digital Pilipinas. We want you to do well and share your expertise with enterprises in the Philippines who need your support … To develop a value chain to create jobs and grow the economy,” Pascual concluded.
This article is published on BitPinas: Philippines Kicks Off First Ever ASEAN Fintech Month
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