Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Philip Medalla; Voyager/PayMaya Chairman Manny Pangilinan; Maya Business officials led by Doy Vea and Shailesh Baidwan; fellow workers in government, guests — a pleasant evening.

I thank Doy Vea, for inviting me to be a keynote speaker at this event — the relaunch of PayMaya Enterprise as Maya Business. It is both a pleasure and an honor.

In his State of the Nation Address this Monday, President Marcos laid out his economic plans for the country, emphasizing the importance of creating an enabling environment for the country’s digital transformation. Similarly, during the Post-SONA Economic Briefing with my fellow Cabinet members and I, we presented the Marcos administration’s 8-point socioeconomic agenda, which includes expanding and improving  digital infrastructure. This agenda emphasizes the importance of facilitating digital payments, promoting digital financial services, and enabling market regulations for building trust and data transfers in order to provide more opportunities for individuals and MSMEs.

I believe the government will not be able to achieve its digital transformation goals on its own. The private sector, with its agile mindset and disposition has to play a key role, particularly in implementing the digital transformation of  enterprises, both large and small as well as government itself.

Digital players and stakeholders in the private sector will set the direction and pace of this change, both independently and in conjunction with related public programs.

Businesses in the digital ecosystem can help industries create more stable and higher-paying jobs, make it easier for investors to set up their businesses and make our MSMEs more prosperous with widened market access, technology for enhancing productivity and competitiveness, and as well as financing ability.

So, where does the Philippine government stand in encouraging and enabling investments in digitalization?

We have two official issuances promoting digital transformation, particularly in digital payments: Executive Order 170 s. 2022, or the Adoption of Digital Payments for Government Disbursements and Collections, and the COA Circular No. 2021-014, which are the Guidelines on the Use of e-Collection and e-Payment for Government Transactions.

How I wish we have this in the time I was running the University of the Philippines (UP), when we were not able to adopt digital payment because of regulatory constraints.

EO 170 s. 2022 aims to promote efficient service delivery, speed up transactions, increase revenue, and reduce the risk of graft and corruption, most importatnly. It requires all covered agencies to use secure and efficient digital disbursement to pay for goods and services. All covered agencies must provide a digital method of collecting payments for taxes, fees, tolls, and other charges and impositions.

Meanwhile, the Commission on Audit (COA) guidelines aim to provide clear audit policies and guidance on the use of e-Collections and e-Payments for government transactions, thereby removing common pitfalls in implementing e-Governance in public service.

What will the digital landscape in the Philippines look like going forward?

Financing decisions will be facilitated and become almost automatic given the availability of digitized enterprise data as a result of digitalization and e-commerce. Investors will find it easier to transact with the government and establish their businesses. We will also be able to encourage and support the growth of Philippine companies, particularly those that will compete in the international market.

DTI conducted a survey from July to October 2020 to assess the level of digitalization among Philippine micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). According to the results of this survey, only 46 percent of respondents were aware of any mobile/digital wallet. However, once the brands were mentioned, the percentage of awareness increased to 94 percent. Indeed, brands matter.

At the time, the five main reasons identified in the survey for people not using mobile/digital wallets in their businesses were that they were used to old habits (54.4 percent), did not see the need to use them (43.8 percent), don’t know how to access/use it (26.8 percent), are hesitant due to security concerns and trust issues (24.6 percent).  So, those were the reasons for the resistance to adopt e-payment.Some stores do not accept digital payments (11.8 percent).

To address these digitalization gaps, the DTI launched the CTRL + BIZ Reboot Now Program in 2020. The DTI program offered free webinars for MSMEs on various topics related to digitalizing their businesses. In the 217 sessions, 238 topics were discussed, totaling 42,892 viewers. Regional conferences were also held, with experts from the E-commerce industry, such as Maya, sharing their experiences, insights, and know-how in digitalization and payment.

Collaboration between industry and government is effective in promoting priority initiatives. We have accomplished much through our collaborations, and the successful outcome speaks for itself.

Maya, formerly Paymaya, was a crucial player in the DTI’s transition to e-government, particularly in digitalizing business name registration. Your company has been present from the initial meeting to the signing of the quad-partite agreement, then the Memorandum of Agreement in September 2019, and finally, the integration of Maya with the Business Name Registration System (or BNRS) Next Generation Program. Business name registration and renewals have become more efficient, flexible, and convenient for entrepreneurs as they offer various payment options, including debit/credit card, Maya e-wallet/Smart Padala, GCash, and Landbank Linkbiz.

The DTI BNRS has resulted in a significant increase in online business registration and renewals. Over-the-counter via DTI tellers BN registration fees shifted to online payments, more than doubling from 35% in 2019 to 73% in 2022.

As of 14 July 2022, Maya accounted for 10% of online BN payment collections.. Regarding online payment collections through Maya, approximately 67 percent, or PHP 15.3 million, is paid via PayMaya Wallet. The remaining business name payments are collected via Debit/Credit Card and Smart Padala/Bills.

Congratulations to Maya for providing a fast and secure financial transaction platform for businesses and consumers. Thank you for actively participating in the brown bag brigade, focused group discussions, consultative sessions, and the many different programs and promotions that DTI helped shape and actualize the e-commerce Philippines 2022 roadmap that we envisioned.

Let us continue to support the BSP’s Digital Payment Transformation Roadmap 2020-2023 by meeting, if not exceeding, the set goals of 50% digital payment volume and 70% financial inclusion for all Filipino adults.

As I conclude, I’d like to congratulate Maya once more. Let us continue with our E-commerce Roadmap 2023-2025 and assist large merchants and more importantly, MSMEs in leapfrogging toward a cashless and inclusive fintech. Let’s make it happen in the Philippines! I repeat Let’s make it happen in the Philippines! We are proposing this as our Philippine branding.

Thank you, and good evening to everyone. ♦

Date of Release: 28 July 2022