Partnering with the private sector is needed for the Philippines to keep up with the ever evolving digital landscape, especially as the country moves to cement its position as a digital innovation hub, President Marcos said yesterday.

On the first day of the Singapore Fintech Festival here, Marcos maintained that the Philippines is committed to fostering an environment that promotes collaboration and propels the momentum of digital transformation.

Marcos delivered his keynote message via hologram from the United States. He is the first state leader to do so in the world's largest fintech festival.

'Numerous public-private partnership (PPP) projects are aimed at keeping pace with the rapidly evolving ICT (information and communication technology) landscape,' Marcos said.

'The Philippines is cementing its position as a hub for digital innovation and entrepreneurship, with a dynamic startup scene that holds immense promise,' he said.

Marcos emphasized that PPPs are crucial in enabling the country to adopt new technologies that would strengthen the local fintech ecosystem.

He said the implementation of innovative solutions, coupled with enhanced financial education and inclusion initiatives, would effectively meet the needs of underserved communities in the country.

Further, the President maintained that the Philippines recognizes the growing presence of digital banking and the importance of inclusive finance in the country's financial landscape to ensure that no one is left behind.

'That is why we are putting great emphasis on the digitalization of all cash flows - regardless of amount or scale - so that Filipinos can start building a digital profile,' Marcos said.

On the sidelines of the event, Philippine Ambassador to Singapore Medardo Macaraig noted that there is a need to pursue digitalization and bring into the fold of new technology the older generation.

Comparing how Filipinos and Singaporeans adapt to technology, Macaraig said the latter are pragmatic in the way they use digitalization.

'For us Filipinos, there is some hesitation due to cybersecurity and data privacy issues,' Macaraig said.

'We still prefer to do the old thing and nothing is wrong with that, but we also have to consider what is pragmatic,' he said.

To further boost technological adoption, the government's Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC) earlier created the GoDigital Pilipinas (GDP) movement to provide practical recommendations and empower Filipinos through technology.

UnionDigital Bank, the digital bank of UnionBank of the Philippines, is one of the key partners in pushing the GDP movement.

Through artificial intelligence-powered solutions, the digital bank works toward financial inclusion by providing access to bank products that are traditionally beyond reach due to stringent requirements.

Advocating for embedded finance, UnionDigital collaborates across industries to enhance access to digital bank products, fostering financial inclusion by engaging customers where they are most present.

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