Technology

Digital literacy: Filipinos seek digital interactions with gov’t

With 77% of Filipino consumers now identifying themselves as “digitally curious” or “digital explorers”, improving digital literacy is a must to address their expectations of having more digital interactions with the government. Image credit: VMware
Image credit: VMware

With 77% of Filipino consumers now identifying themselves as “digitally curious” or “digital explorers”, improving digital literacy is a must to address their expectations of having more digital interactions with the government.

“This shifting consumption pattern and openness to frontier technologies have led to more Filipinos being willing to engage with organizations digitally. Of which, close to half of Filipinos (46%) have indicated that they are happy to keep interacting with the government digitally, putting them ahead of other Southeast Asian counterparts surveyed — Malaysia (45%), Indonesia (29%), and Thailand (30%) — but slightly behind Singapore (60%),” VMware Philippines Country Manager Walter So told Digital Life Asia.

Innovation and digital literacy

So was citing the results of the new VMware Digital Frontiers 3.0 Study, which also showed that 43% of Filipinos have indicated that the government has failed to adapt and improve services to the changing market.

“Additionally, there is a growing awareness of the power of public-private partnerships in not only keeping consumers safe, but also strengthening the digital readiness of the Philippines. The same study revealed that 42% of respondents believe that it is the Philippine government’s responsibility to raise their personal digital literacy levels,” So said.

What steps, then, should the Philippine government take to address this growing demand? So said the two core pillars for driving digital success are innovation and digital literacy.

“2021 marks a turning point with innovation becoming a priority for future-ready organizations looking to accelerate their growth. With more than one-third of Filipinos (36%) expressing that they are excited for the government’s digital services, it will be critical for the public agencies to continue to innovate and deliver cutting-edge digital experiences, seamlessly and securely, to enable meaningful engagements with its citizens.

“As citizens integrate digital technologies as part of their everyday lives, it will also be important for the government to bridge the digital divide in the country and make sure that technology does not leave anyone behind, in order to take a synchronized step forward to their recovery and growth. Raising the digital literacy levels of Filipinos will be key. This can come in the form of driving new initiatives to educate and strengthen the digital literacy of Filipinos that will support the Philippine Digital Transformation Strategy 2022 and taking steps to transition to e-governance to improve the delivery of services and experiences for its increasing digital citizenry,” So said.

More disruption ahead

Not only are Filipinos demanding more digital interactions, but also they are increasingly comfortable with new technologies that will transform the delivery of government services.

“Consumer trust in frontier technologies, including facial recognition (78%), artificial intelligence (75%), and 5G (85%), in the Philippines is growing at a rapid pace. The benefits of these technologies are widespread, with their potential for realizing new efficiencies and breakthroughs in public services as seen in the Philippine biometric ID system and plans to advance our intelligent transport system,” So said.

Last year saw businesses being forced to accelerate their digital transformation and embrace remote work due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, consumer behavior also changed, with people staying home and learning to embrace digital.

It should therefore come as no surprise that Filipinos are demanding the same kind of digital experiences from the government that they have grown accustomed to from businesses.

“Filipinos’ trust in these technologies signals a positive first step towards the Digital Philippines initiative. To prepare and capitalize on this disruption, the Filipino government will need to make sure they have a future-ready infrastructure to assimilate these technologies into business ecosystem. With people as the core of all transformations, a pertinent step would be to nurture all tech talent by increasing digital literacy for Filipinos and providing them with powerful and personalized access to any app they need, on any cloud and any device in a new distributed workforce reality. At VMware, we remain committed to becoming a trusted partner and enabler for public and private organizations to better respond, adapt, and accelerate their businesses as they navigate through uncertainties in today’s digital-first environment,” So said.

The world has changed. Now, so must governments.