A recent Bloomberg article stated that President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. was looking to grow the economy by 8 percent during his term. What do we know of the government’s plans to reach this growth pace, last seen in 1976 during the presidency of his late father, Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr.?
For one, we know of the direction to digitize the delivery of services, many of which are already online. Even the popular Pag-IBIG MP2 savings platform can now be accessed using your smartphone, in minutes, and many Facebook groups provide tips and tricks to maximize the spend (together with some cashback hacks from Shopee Pay).
Even before the new administration took office, we already were seeing the shift in consumer spending in many everyday areas. In retail, of course, there are the online shopping platforms that are at your beck and call whenever you need anything. There is also the pivot of many retail outlets to utilize Viber as a form of transacting/shopping. In health care, we now see telemedicine playing a huge part in the delivery of primary health care services, aligning with the Universal Health Care law. In finance and banking, most of our financial transactions can already be done online, so much so that even wet market vendors have shifted as well to cater to the digital-loving, cashless segment and in logistics our last-mile requirements have been sorted out by a new breed of riders.
The point in sharing the above examples is to highlight that over the last two years, Filipinos have established digital spending habits, albeit primarily to help combat the spread of Covid-19. Continued digital spending is also being encouraged even with the impending return of face-to-face schooling. While there is a move to tax digital services, many approaches are available to ensure that we can leverage digital behaviors and sustain such to enable economic growth.
– Retooling of teachers in terms of digital skill sets so that if there is a need to shift from offline to online or even hybrid, it can be done quickly and more effectively. We do not know when the next surge will happen or when another global health scare will present itself.
– Encouraging organizations to take advantage of digital technologies. In our line of work, we see a lot of businesses looking into digital marketing, among others, in order to better serve and target customers. Virtual selling is a popular option for organizations these days to reach out to customers or prospective clients.
We cannot stress enough the advantage of using digital at this point in time, not only as a sustainable alternative in managing businesses but also as a form of insurance or cushion if things become difficult. The use of digital is proving to be a sustainable way to ensure economic growth in these times.
Kay Calpo Lugtu is the chief operating officer of Hungry Workhorse, a digital and culture transformation firm. Her advocacies include food innovation, nation-building and sustainability. The author may be reached at email@example.com.