(From L to R: Connected Women Partnerships Manager Mae Lim, DTI Undersecretary Rafaelita M. Aldaba, DTI Secretary Fred Pascual, Connected Women CEO Agnes Gervacio, Connected Women Co-founder Ruth Yu-Owen, and Connected Women Accounts Manager Ana Gopico)

Makati City, Philippines–In a bid to empower women for artificial intelligence (AI)-driven roles, and build an inclusive digital workforce, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Connected Women during the celebration of the National Women’s Month on 08 March 2024.

“Our collaboration with Connected Women holds immense promise and potential. Together, we are poised to lead the way in fostering inclusive growth, innovation, and empowerment in the AI ecosystem,” Secretary Pascual said.

The DTI secretary highlighted that the strategic partnership will leverage collective expertise and resources to generate impactful outcomes, ensuring the empowerment and success of women within the Philippine AI ecosystem.

Supporting the joint effort, DTI’s Competitiveness and Innovation Group (CIG) Undersecretary Rafaelita Aldaba also expressed the Department’s commitment to strengthen its partnership with Connected Women in addressing women’s challenges, particularly in terms of affordability and access to technology. These will ensure that adopting new technology does not augment the digital divide in the country.

Further, Secretary Pascual emphasized the Department’s goal to champion and bolster the AI agenda in the country. He said, “Our partnership with Connected Women will strengthen the Philippines’ position as the center of AI excellence, and a premiere destination for ethical outsourcing.”

Aligned with the National AI Strategy Roadmap positioning the Philippines as a regional and global hub for AI, big data processing, and analytics, the collaboration will sustain the commitment of both organizations to drive innovation, inclusivity, and growth for the country.

Moreover, by fostering such collaborative efforts, the DTI aims to strengthen ties with international development partners, startups, and government institutions to accelerate responsible AI adoption and digital transformation in the country. ♦

Date of release: 10 March 2024