Digital technology is among the solutions for poverty alleviation as this can connect those in the “bottom of the pyramid” to access education and start business, said Donald Patrick Lim, a 2015 The Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) awardee.
“Digital technology, on its own, is used to empower people,” Lim said in an interview.
Lim, the TOYM awardee for community development, said access to education was one of the challenges among Filipinos to land in a decent job.
He, however, noted that there were now massive online courses that can be accessed even at home.
“What’s going to happen is that technical education will soon be free. You will see the poorest of the poor right now has access to smartphone. They can actually study on their own so they become more competitive,” he added.
Lim stressed that Filipinos should learn to use technology to “expose their businesses to the world.”
“I’ve been talking to handicraft manufacturers and other SMEs (small and medium enterprises) on how they can properly do their business online,” he said.
“A lot of younger people use their Instagram in selling their craft and they’re reaching out to the world,” he cited.
Lim stressed Filipinos should use digital technology for their own advantage rather than just using it for posting in social media.
“We have to understand what’s happening on the digital landscape and really make sure to use it to our advantage,” he added.
“The challenge today is to change our mindset… Filipinos must find their way to do it. We just have to steer them to the right path,” he pointed out.
The TOYM awardee stressed that digital technology can provide massive opportunities to the Philippines, particularly with its young population who are tech-savvy.
The public and private sector, on the other hand, must strengthen its partnership in providing better connectivity and communication infrastructures, said Lim.
According to the Ericsson Mobility Report, smartphone penetration in the Philippines this year is projected at 40 percent.
By 2018, smartphone penetration in the country is seen to rise to 70 percent while there will be a wider usage of high speed Internet.