The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) supports the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) in advancing digital transformation in the economic sector amid the current COVID-19 crisis affecting the Philippine economy.

In a statement dated 07 May 2020, NEDA Acting Secretary, Karl Kendrick Chua, emphasized the need to transition to a digital economy to better adapt to the ‘new normal’. Acting Secretary Chua pointed out that a number of structural reforms are also needed to be put in place.

DICT Secretary Gregorio B. Honasan II said that the DICT fully supports the efforts of NEDA and continues to implement programs aimed at digitalizing the government, the community, and the economy.    

“The DICT supports digital transformation in the economic sector. Under the banner of a Digital Philippines, we are employing a holistic approach towards digitalization, focusing on connectivity, cybersecurity and digital literacy. We are optimistic that the transition of the Philippines to a digital economy will make the country’s economy more resilient to external factors, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.” Secretary Honasan said.

Acting Secretary Chua also enumerated other factors which will help the Philippine economy adapt to the ‘new normal.’ These include stimulating domestic demand or consumption by ensuring the operation of agricultural production, food manufacturing, and the entire value-chain; getting the ‘Build, Build, Build’ program back on track, which will generate millions of jobs; and developing and implementing socioeconomic policies that are adaptive and responsive; among others.

“The DICT will continue to develop and implement programs that will fast track the country’s digital transformation, in line with the guidance and directives of President Rodrigo Duterte, through the IATF. ICT has provided a semblance of continuity for our society and brings us much closer to transitioning to a new normal. Let us all work together for continuity, stability, national unity, peace and prosperity.” Secretary Honasan added. 

In the public address of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) last 12 May 2020, the Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary, Carlos Dominguez III, said that the government is finalizing an economic recovery program that will help the country combat the pandemic and revive the economy. This includes providing assistance to industries and Filipino workers.