opens new home
Announces grant for digital literacy program for one million Filipinos
January 26, 2017
MAKATI CITY – Google
Philippines is supporting the growth of digital economy in the country
with a Google.org grant to Digibayanihan, a nationwide digital
literacy program that promotes digital inclusion among Filipinos.
This was announced on
Thursday when Google Philippines opened its new home, four years after
it launched its first office in the country in 2013. The support from
Google is expected to extend Digibayanihan’s program to one million
Filipinos in Visayas and Mindanao.
Google.org is the charitable
arm of Google that supports and champions people and projects that are
combatting the biggest human challenges of the 21st century. One of
its key focus areas has been the improvement of education,
particularly ICT enabled literacy.
“This step is part of our
continuing effort to create a stronger, more inclusive digital economy
in the Philippines. While our internet penetration has improved the
last five years, 2 out of 5 Filipinos are still missing out on the
huge opportunities that come with being online. We want to empower
them with digital know-how so that they can make the most of the
Internet,” said Ken Lingan, Google Philippines country manager.
DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez
who was guest of honor at the launch said, “With the population
getting more connected and engaged every day, it is necessary for
individuals, businesses, and communities to have the right skills to
thrive in today’s modern economy. That’s why we welcome Google’s
commitment to promote digital inclusion and empower every Filipino
online, and in effect, drive the country’s economy forward.”
Google also highlighted the
importance of developers in the digital economy of the country with
the launch of the Launchpad Accelerator program in the Philippines.
The program provides equity-free support to help start-ups scale into
Citing the recent Google-commissioned
report by Temasek, Google said that the Philippines’ online market
value is set to reach US$19 billion by 2025, making e-commerce a major
economic driver in the next 10 years. “Our local developers and
start-ups are instrumental in creating impactful businesses that are
tackling tough local and global issues. We see the importance of their
role in what will be a booming e-commerce in our country in the very
near future because what they do have direct impact in people’s
lives,” Ken said.
start-up Zipmatch, which uses 360° technology to differentiate itself,
is the first Filipino participant in Google’s accelerator program.
Secretary Lopez recognized the program as a potential boost in the
e-commerce industry, and encouraged micro, small, and medium
enterprises (MSMEs) to take advantage of the digital space and digital
training provided by Google and DTI agencies nationwide.
“SMEs still account for more
than 90% of our enterprises, and Filipinos rely heavily on them for
goods and services. I think it is just right for the SMEs to embrace
digital integration now and make use of programs like what we provide
working with tech companies like Google so they can take advantage of
opportunities that go with going digital,” Sec Lopez added.