Philippines Announces Major Push for Development of Blockchain Skills

The Philippines has big plans for its future, and much of it centers on blockchain technology. University-based innovation centers will be launched to increase knowledge and skills for students, the workforce, and even the government.

Dr. Enrico Paringit, the executive director of the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD), said he will encourage blockchain teaching in universities.

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“We want to increase the knowledge and skills of our workforce to develop the use of blockchain by teaching our students the skills in universities. We need to use and adopt blockchain even in the government sector,” Paringit said at the recent Nascent Technology Summit organized by Digital Pilipinas (DP).

The DOST-PCIEERD and DP signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at establishing university-based innovation centers across the country

The agreement came a month after the signing of a tripartite partnership to launch the Think and Tinker Laboratory – Technology Business Incubation (TBI) program. The three partners comprise the technology and engineering school of Mapúa University, DOST-PCIEERD, and Digital Pilipinas.

The TBI program is the pilot project for the university-based innovation center to promote education/industry/ government collaboration about blockchain, cryptocurrency, API, open finance, education technology, and other emerging technologies.

Fortunato de la Peña, secretary of DOST, Dr. Paringit, and DP convenor Amor Maclang signed the deal. And Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief Fintech Officer at the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), witnessed it.

Maclang stressed there are many ways blockchain can be applied to education, and the skillset could help certify a student’s credentials.

“One critical use of blockchain in education is record keeping. Blockchain can remove much of the process associated with this and streamline verification procedures, saving the school and educators valuable time,” Maclang said.

Major shift in how education is perceived

Education is a significant focus for DP this year. The Digital Pilipinas Academy has partnered with Singapore-based certifying authority Affinidi to provide micro-certification courses on AFIN’s APIX Oxygen platform.

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“This year, we want to emphasize micro education and micro education. The country’s education system has shifted tremendously. We no longer see our children taking up the traditional four or eight-year college courses but instead look at technological skills that are easy to acquire, with immediate certification,” Maclang added.

She said her group would collaborate with educational institutions and large businesses to launch an internship that will allow students and career shifters to work with several corporations in under one year. This will provide the relevant skills while guaranteeing they will be Web 3.0 certified once they graduate.

“Many might not have the intent to take long-term classes … they can learn on-demand from market leaders. In this decentralized world, the barriers of learning are not as formidable as they used to be.”

Todd Schweitzer, of open finance technology solutions provider Brankas, noted that the Philippines is a fascinating target for Web 3.0, with many digital banks offering investment opportunities.

He said that 70% of the adult population remains unbanked and that while many maintain a bank account, they are still underserved.

“They get their salary, and they take the money out. With the growth of play-to-earn games such as Axie infinity, we see a lot of Filipinos, especially younger ones, building wealth with the use of cryptocurrencies and providing APIs that allow the growth of these economies using blockchain technology. Web 3.0 plays a significant role in decentralizing and democratizing assets,” he said during the panel discussion.

Last year, the country was ranked third in Southeast Asia in the adoption of digital assets, according to blockchain data platform Chainalysis.


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