top of page

Opening Ceremony of the World of Consumer Electronics Expo (WOCEE) and World of Safety and Security Expo (WOSAS) 2023

SMX Convention Center Manila

A pleasant day to you all! Foremost, I would like to thank the Worldbex Services International for organizing this event and for inviting me as the guest speaker for this year’s World of Consumer Electronics Expo (WOCEE) and World of Safety and Security Expo.


Digitalization has provided new and greater opportunities for growth and development. In fact, the United Nations said that emerging digital technologies can provide opportunities to bridge the rural-urban divide. It also said that overcoming the digital divide is key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. This is how vital technology is in this day and age.


The Philippines gears up to be a digital nation. Our aim is to be a prosperous middle-class society by 2040 and we aspire to be a globally competitive knowledge economy. To build the foundation for a knowledge economy, the national priorities include the promotion and acceleration of technology adoption and stimulation of innovation in all economic sectors.


In the 2022 Network Readiness Index (NRI) 2022, which was released by the Portulans Institute, a Washington DC Board think tank, the Philippines ranked 71st out of 131 economies. This is a great leap from the previous year’s ranking of 85th. However, much needs to be done in the area of technological improvement. We are still among the lagging countries in the ASEAN, placing sixth among the eight nations included in the survey.


But the fact that the Philippines was the biggest mover in the said index is already a good indication of our progress. And this event that we have today gives us much hope that our country can really move forward aggressively in our digital transformation journey.


This convergence of industry leaders, start-ups, and associations in the fields of innovation and security is even more relevant now. These innovations as well as the fruitful engagements and exchange of knowledge and ideas that will be generated through this platform are all crucial for us to be a digital nation.


Rest assured that the government continuously supports the growth of these industries and strives to create a conducive business environment for all.


The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), as the primary agency tasked to develop and promote the use of ICT in the country, is creating and implementing both mid-term and long-term plans for digital transformation across government sectors through improved interoperability and collaboration across the Government and ecosystems. We are encouraging public participation online and open governance, fostering good governance innovation with the use of data-driven perspectives in the whole-of-government, improving business innovation by establishing efforts on technology adoption in the business sector in the local government unit and national level, and taking advantage of emerging and advanced technologies related to innovations.


The DICT is doubling efforts to provide mobile and internet services to the most remote parts of the country, aggressively implementing key programs such as the BroadBand ng Masa Program, which provides Free Wi-Fi sites in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDAs); the Luzon Bypass Infrastructure, which will increase total government capacity from 40,000 Mbps to 2,000,000 Mbps in the next six years; and the establishment of the National Government Data Center.


The government has launched the eGov App, a platform that aggregates various government services into a unified online system to enhance public service delivery. The DICT has also started the Integrated Local Government System (iLGU) in partnership with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to implement an end-to-end business registration with LGUs for Business Permits, Clearances, Real Property Tax, Business Tax, Civil Registry, and other permits. This will remove long lines in the City and Municipal Halls and streamline citizens’ transactions with LGUs. There are around 906 LGUs that will implement the Integrated Business Permit and Licensing System or iBPLS.


The DICT has also started the Startup Grant Fund (SGF) application process, as provided under Section 11 of the Republic Act No. 11337, the Innovative Startup Act. Through the SGF, the DICT aims to provide financial grants for new and early-stage startups relating to startup development, capacity building, and network building. It is targeted to specifically help and nurture startups by providing pre-seed to seed funding that shall make the ecosystem be more active and investable. 


We are full-blast in this digital transformation journey. As ICT systems have become crucial in more aspects of people’s lives and the economy, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has been emphasizing the need for universal connectivity to ensure that no citizen is left behind, a fully digital government that is sensitive to the people’s needs, and enabling a conducive environment for the digital economy.


The post-pandemic era is one that is highly digital. And in our digital transformation journey, a whole-of-nation approach is necessary, thus, everyone’s involvement and cooperation is crucial.


Our gathering for today, and in the next few days of the 2023 World of Consumer Electronics Expo and World of Safety and Security Expo, is proof of a vibrant innovation industry that can support our nation’s digital journey and keep up with global demands.


Let us make this event a very fruitful platform to gain new insights, exchange best practices, and form partnerships that will bring us all together towards becoming a highly competitive digital nation. 


Thank you very much.






bottom of page