As the country came to grips with strict lockdowns, work-from-home arrangements and social distancing standards, the use of digital tools has granted us safe harbor from the COVID-19 virus. These tools gave the Filipino people an edge that the virus did not anticipate, a digitally ready population more resilient to the devastating impacts of the pandemic.
From this newfound resilience, we have seen the emergence of the internet economy and the rapid influx of digital merchants and consumers alike. The digital economy has become the new lifeblood for private enterprises to reach its customers and for government to serve its citizens. With the Omicron variant looming, the digital readiness of our economy has become more important than ever.
Still, the digital economy does not insulate us completely. While the pandemic wreaked havoc on our health care systems, the growth of e-commerce, fintech and digital banking has become the cure to many of our financial ailments. However, as the digitalization of finance has gained steam, it has also created a digital divide where many have been left behind because of issues on access to internet connectivity and digital devices. Meanwhile, those who have gone digital lack the readiness for optimal and safe use of digital technologies.
Given this theme, the Stratbase ADR Institute provided a venue for experts from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), banks and key industry stakeholders to interact and work together for the digital transformation of the financial industry by exploring the best strategies to harness new financial technologies while mitigating risk in the spirit of fostering a digital environment that empowers rather than divides.
Beyond just technological advancement, we must recognize that digital readiness for both the public and private sector hinges on structural and policy reform, organizational culture and above all, knowledge. For the financial industry, this means giving workers access to new technologies and the right guidance to use them. Ultimately, it is important that we capitalize on the springboard that digital readiness can provide us to uplift Filipinos across all sectors of society.
Prof. Victor Andres “Dindo” Manhit
President, Stratbase ADR Institute
Assessing the Digital Readiness of the Philippine Banking Sector
Mr. Melchor Plabasan
Director, Technology Risk and Innovation Supervision Department
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)
Key Lessons in the Digital Shift
Mr. Jose Arnulfo “Wick” Veloso
President and Chairman, Bankers Association of the Philippines (BAP)
Trends in FSI Frontline Technologies
Mr. Kshitij Gopal
Modern Work and Security Sales Leader – APAC, Microsoft
Mr. Noel Santiago
Chief Digital Officer, Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI)
Mr. Lito Villanueva
Executive Vice President & Chief Innovation Officer and Inclusion Officer,
Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC)
Atty. JJ Disini
Director of Technology Law and Policy Program,
University of the Philippines Law Center
Host and Moderator
Mr. Paco Pangalangan
Executive Director, Stratbase ADR Institute