Digital economy grows, but share in GDP shrinks 

WHILE the digital economy grew 7.8 percent in 2021, its share in the country’s GDP continued to decline, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

Data showed the value of the digital economy increased to P1.87 trillion in 2021, higher than the P1.73 trillion recorded in 2020.

The digital economy in 2021 accounted for 9.6 percent of the country’s GDP. This was slower than the share in GDP growth in 2020 at 9.7 percent; 2019, 10 percent; and 2018 at 10.1 percent of GDP.

“The strict quarantine restrictions during the pandemic in 2020 and 2021 highly affected the e-commerce transactions particularly in accommodation, transport, and other tourism-related activities,” PSA said.

The digital economy is composed of digital transactions covering Digital-enabling infrastructure, e-commerce, and Digital media/content.

E-commerce contributed 17.6 percent while Digital media/content shared 2.8 percent in 2021.

While e-commerce transactions were noted to increase for online selling, delivery, and courier services, the total transactions contracted 31.4 percent in 2020, mainly due to decline in online tourism-related activities.

Meanwhile, of the total digital transactions in 2021, Digital-enabling infrastructure shared the bulk with 79.6 percent or P1.49 trillion.

“This is higher by 7.6 percent from the P1.38-trillion digital transactions in 2020,” PSA said.

Under the Digital-enabling infrastructure, Telecommunication services, and Professional and Business services had the highest shares to the digital economy of 31.5 percent and 27.1 percent, respectively.

In 2020, there were 5.01 million Filipinos employed in the digital economy.

This reached 5.59 million persons in 2021, posting an increase of 11.6 percent.

Employment in Digital-enabling infrastructure recorded the highest share in 2021 with 76.9 percent, followed by e-commerce or 20.7 percent and Digital media/content or 2.4 percent.

The new administration has emphasized the importance of digitalization to sustain the recovery of the Philippine economy. 

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