23 June 2020, as delivered

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) fully supports DiskarTech’s pioneering app as it is fully aligned with the Duterte Administration’s ten-point Socioeconomic Agenda. By helping more than 1.3M sari-sari stores and market vendors in over 42,000 barangays, DiskarTech’s complete suite of digital financial services will benefit our Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

To this end, DTI signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with RCBC last August 2019 to promote DiskarTech and provide training programs for entrepreneurs. These training programs will roll out in more than 1,000 DTI Negosyo Centers around the country.

DTI knows that our country has incredible e-commerce potential and possibilities. With a total population of 108M, the Philippines has 76M active internet users or users of social media. Our country’s annual e-commerce growth rate has been pegged at 12% from 2018 to 2022, and we are the 3rd largest e-commerce market in Southeast Asia.

Given the importance of e-commerce in our economy, we need to maximize opportunities for its growth by implementing reform initiatives and development interventions. By doing so, we expect an exponential growth of 2% of the overall retail market to be done online, and this will grow faster with our young population combined with the convenience of online shopping.

DTI is also prioritizing MSMEs in preparing our country for the digital economy. This means increasing the number of MSMEs that are online and encouraging them to grow in the digital space. Given that there are 1.5M businesses registered in the Philippines, the government cannot capacitate MSMEs on our own. That’s why we are thankful for the partnership of the private sector with initiatives like RCBC’s DiskarTech to push our MSMEs to embrace digitalization.

On the government’s side, we are committed to address barriers to e-commerce and create programs that will empower MSMEs with regard to digitalization. We have also included e-commerce as one of the top 12 priorities in our Inclusive, Innovation-led, Industrial Strategy (i³S). This strategy will help us build innovative and entrepreneurial ecosystems with innovation at the front and center of our industrial policy.

Lastly, while pushing e-commerce growth is a whole-of-government initiative, DTI is taking the lead as the primary government agency and the focal point in agency coordination. Our goal is to fully realize Republic Act (RA) 8792 or the e-Commerce Act of 2000, through the proposed Philippine e-Commerce Roadmap (PECR) 2022 and in a way, prepare also for the pending bill in Congress, authored by Congressman Wes Gatchalian, that will further strengthen the e-commerce ecosystem in the country.

DTI would like to thank DiskarTech for helping to accelerate the digital transformation of Philippine businesses and consumers. Aside from providing additional income to our MSMEs, it will also help promote financial inclusion by encouraging more Filipinos to open bank accounts and be part of the formal financial system. This financial inclusion is the key to achieving President Rodrigo Duterte’s vision of having an inclusive growth and a comfortable life for all Filipinos.

Thank you very much.