DTI, private sector: PH can be e-commerce leader in Southeast Asia (ABS CBN News)

The government and the private sector believe the Philippines has a good chance of becoming an e-commerce leader in Southeast Asia.

“The Philippines is built for commerce,” Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said during virtual launch of Digital Pilipinas, a movement composed of government and private sector to strengthen digitalization in the country.

“Like everyone here, we know this can only be achieved with a whole-of-society approach..that is, all of us working together,” he added.

The use of e-commerce has been steadily increasing from 70 percent in 2019 to 76 percent in 2020 and 80.2 percent in 2021.

Based on the figures from the Department of Trade and Industry, online businesses involved in retail trade increased significantly from 1,848 in January to March last year, to 88,575 by end of 2020.

“We saw this especially last year with e-commerce coming to our rescue during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many online businesses filled the void, filled the void left by brick-and-mortar businesses affected by the community lockdowns. Online retail, online delivery services, online entertainment, digital services, tele-health, work from home arrangements, digital payments- all of these help us in the past year and continue to do so until now,” Lopez said.

The DTI projects an increase in the number of e-commerce enterprises from 500,000 in 2020 to 1 million by 2022.

The country has also embraced financial digitalization when the pandemic hit.

According to the Department of Finance, almost 100 percent of the total number of annual income tax returns were electronically filed this year, from 90 percent in 2020.

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23 July 2021

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