PBBM: Digital Transformation Helps Nations Keep Up

Digital transformation would enable all nations to keep up with a changing world, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said Wednesday (Manila time).

Marcos made the statement during the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York City, as he lamented that many nations still “barely understand” the uses and benefits of digital technologies.

Marcos advocated the rapid adoption of digital innovation so that all countries can keep up.

“The development of advanced technologies is rapidly changing people’s lives and experiences. We still have little understanding of how these transformations are unfolding and where they are leading. The impending proliferation of these new technologies could solve many of our old problems, but they could also disrupt our political and social orders. Our governance structures have to keep up,” he said.

“The world is ready for transformation. It is up to us as leaders of our nations to lead and shape this change,” added Marcos.

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This as Marcos also expressed his dissatisfaction with the spread of “inequalities and injustices” between rich and poor nations that were evident amid the 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

He said the transition to a digital world should benefit not only rich countries but also developing countries looking forward to their speedy recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We continue to be plagued by an unresolved problem: inequalities and injustices within and between countries persist and continue to require urgent action,” he said. “We must use public and private resources to encourage the expansion of trade, investment and technology transfers to accelerate development. Knowledge and intellectual achievement must flow freely to allow the laggards to catch up.”

Recognizing the “inalienable right” of all nations to “peacefully use all existing and emerging technologies,” Marcos said the Philippines is investing in digitization to help the country recover from the pandemic.

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He said the use of technological innovation would boost more economic activity.

“The Philippines is preparing for the future by creating the governance framework that will enable us to harness the power of renewable energy, develop the capacity to harness life sciences like medicine and virology, develop digital solutions for a more modern economy pursue and expand our presence in space,” said Marcos.

“At the same time, we need new structures to control rapid progress in other areas. We need to start defining the norms of responsible behavior in cyberspace and outer space and formulating legal rules that prevent weaponization of artificial intelligence,” he added.

Marcos called on UN member states to include the proper use of new technologies in their development agenda, saying sustainability requires the development of policies that “go beyond traditional benchmarks”.

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“The spread of cutting-edge technology across the economy is promising, but it may come at a price. Our development agenda must take into account the possible displacement of human labor through advances in automation. We must prepare our economic structures for this. We should start building the necessary supports for the affected sectors,” he said.

He said that knowledge and discovery “remain the keys to unlocking the potential of our dynamic future.”

“Encouraging our young people’s curiosity, improving their skills and protecting their intellectual property are important investments,” said Marcos.

Marcos previously said that as a participant in the “new digital world,” his government would seek to work with the private sector to make public transactions easier and more convenient. (PNA)

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