The Philippines is reported to gain $200 billion ($50 billion in direct revenue and $150 billion in indirect investments in the economy) in the local ICT industry. The government is supporting the ICT industry and has plans to invest significantly in “programs, policy development, marketing, and research and talent development”.
After developing the Philippine Digital Strategy (PDS) in 2010, the Philippines have worked to make improvements in the sector. National industry associations and stakeholders in the ICT industry met at various national conferences to brainstorm expansion initiatives and contribute ideas—the first time an ICT event or workshop of this scale has taken place.
I immediately thought back to our discussion of ICT4$ versus ICT4D. Erik Henderson criticizes ICT4D for its top-down approach and says it represents a “mental roadblock” and is an “import culture”. The Philippines’ ICT initiatives have demonstrated how a national coordinated effort could be the best way to solve real needs within communities. The government is investing heavily in commercial ventures, but with a focus on education and community objectives as well. This way the investment will see massive returns in efficient human capital, benefiting the overall economy.
Wayan believes that there can be ICT4D and ICT4$ with the same overall goals of making money while improving quality of life. I agree with this view and believe this will be a key component in furthering the socio-economic development of the Philippines.