DTI has released the final draft of the Philippine E-Commerce Roadmap (PECR) 2016-2020 before the New Year holiday, last December 29, 2015.
Former Trade Secretary Gregory L. Domingo has been pushing for the roadmap as “E-Commerce has been gaining ground the world over.”
"The growing importance of e-commerce in the global economy can be seen in regional and global fora where new free trade agreements have included a chapter solely dedicated to e-commerce," Domingo furthered.
The PECR aims to lay down the country's strategic plans, policies, and industry support measures to optimize the opportunities e-commerce brings.
Newly-installed Trade Secretary Adrian S. Cristobal, Jr. underscored the roadmap’s importance as an integral piece in catalyzing growth and globalization, especially for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). He said, “Platforms like Alibaba have opened up markets to hundreds of millions of MSMEs in China contributing to alleviation of poverty by creating jobs to the economy. We should follow that track in the Philippines”
“Through the Internet, they are able to find customers and they’re able to export and they don’t have to deal with customs. This kind of e-commerce platform is what we have to promote. That will be a big boost to our MSMEs,” the trade chief remarked.
Based on recent estimates, the Philippines has 44.2 million internet users, while the rest of ASEAN has 143.1 million internet users.
This is a huge potential market for e-commerce, which can be leveraged by the country’s over 937,000 MSMEs to tap the global marketplace and further business growth.
E-commerce, as a tool in globalizing MSMEs, aligns with DTI’s and APEC’s thrust of integrating MSMEs into the global value chain and in providing them direct access to the global market. It is a key component of the APEC Boracay Action Agenda to Globalize MSMEs.
Senator Benigno "Bam" Aquino IV fully supports the e-commerce initiative as he noted that "inclusive growth will be made much easier if our e-commerce basics and our e-commerce elements are there to be able to push it forward."
"We understand how important e-commerce is to our country and how important it is to achieve where we want to be five to ten years from now," Aquino has mentioned in discussions.
The PECR is a collaboration of government, partner agencies, private sector, academe, and other stakeholders. It has undergone a series of face-to-face consultations in Metro Manila and in key cities across the country. Online consultations have also been conducted along the way to further fine-tune the roadmap, resulting to further improvements leading up to the final draft.