With the Philippine internet economy seen to hit $28 billion in the next three years, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) is implementing a “multi-pronged approach” to aid the e-commerce industry grow to its potential.
ICT Undersecretary Jocelle Batapa-Sigue said the department is taking on policy formulation to design rules and regulations that promote e-commerce together with other departments, “while ensuring a conducive environment for digital businesses by tackling regulatory issues and encouraging fair trade.”
“The foundation of a robust e-commerce sector is a reliable digital infrastructure, and DICT is at the forefront of this, striving to enhance the country’s digital backbone. This involves expanding broadband access, honing internet speed, and ensuring reliability, all of which are indispensable for seamless e-commerce operations and transactions,” she said.
Citing a report from Google, Temasek, and Bain & Co., Sigue said the Philippine Internet economy is expected to reach $28 billion in 2025, making it the “fastest-growing market in Southeast Asia, with e-commerce as one of its key pillars.”
By 2030, Google, Temasek, and Bain & Co. forecast the Philippine Internet economy to balloon by as much as $150 billion from $20 billion last year.
This, according to Sigue, means that the e-commerce industry is an important sector that the government would like to develop, especially since the sector “has had a significant impact on both consumers and entrepreneurs in the Philippines.”
“E-commerce provides significant opportunities for micro, small, and even nano businesses. It allows these businesses to reach a broader customer base with lower operational costs compared to traditional brick-and-mortar stores. This has led to an increase in entrepreneurship and the proliferation of home-based businesses, particularly amidst the Covid-19 pandemic,” she said.
E-commerce platforms like Lazada, she added, have created a ripple effect on other industries as well.
“The e-commerce sector in the Philippines has a pronounced ripple effect across numerous industries, significantly influencing the economy beyond its immediate sphere,” she said.
Aside from benefiting small businesses and entrepreneurs as it expands their reach beyond the brick-and-mortar stores, the sector had direct benefits to the logistics industry, creating job opportunities for delivery riders and warehouse staff.
It also created avenues for the rise of new jobs in the digital advertising, marketing, and IT sectors.
To an extent, the e-commerce sector also enhanced financial inclusion, Sigue explained, “by enabling access to financial services for previously unbanked or underbanked individuals, a notable achievement given the sizable unbanked population in the Philippines.”
“Overall, the impact of the e-commerce sector on consumers and entrepreneurs in the Philippines is substantial, transforming shopping habits, business models, and the broader economic landscape,” she said.
This pushed the DICT to further “expand its influence,” actively seeking collaborations and partnerships with other government agencies, private organizations, and international bodies.
“These collaborations aim to integrate e-commerce more effectively into the larger economic framework. Through these initiatives and more, DICT is working tirelessly to create a conducive environment for the growth of e-commerce. Its efforts contribute significantly to promoting economic development and steering the digital transformation in the Philippines,” she said.