The Philippine delegation, composed of DOLE, DTI, DOF, DICT, PRC, NPC, and PCC, during the 2nd Consultative Workshop for the Study on the ASEAN Digital Economy Framework Agreement on 18-19 May 2023 in Bangkok, Thailand.

The DOLE-Bureau of Local Employment participated in the Second Consultative Workshop for the Study on the ASEAN Digital Economy Framework Agreement (DEFA) on 18-19 May 2023 in Bangkok, Thailand.

The aim of the workshop is to better understand the current landscape of the region’s digital economy and provide the necessary information in assessing the strengths and gaps of each ASEAN Member State in advancing the digital economy.

The two-day consultative workshop discussed the results arising from the survey questionnaires developed by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), in collaboration with the ASEAN Coordinating Committee on E-Commerce and Digital Economy (ACCED).

The DOLE-BLE was joined by the representatives from the Departments of Trade and Industry, Finance, Information and Communications Technology, National Privacy Commission, Professional Regulation Commission, and Philippine Competition Commission.

The participation of the DOLE, as part of the Philippine Working Group on Services (PH-WGS) ensured that the laws, rules, and regulations, and best practices of the Philippines relevant to the digital economy are accurately reflected and taken into account in the development of the ongoing study.

During the discussion, Director Melisa Jane B. Comafay (Professional Regulation Commission International Affairs Office) reiterated existing provisions under the Movement of Natural Persons and the existing efforts of the Philippine government on the granting of visas to professionals, subject to existing laws, rules, and regulations.

Meanwhile, Mr. Jill A. Borjal from the DOLE-BLE also shared existing government efforts on talent upskilling and reskilling, including strategies under the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028 and the Labor and Employment Plan 2023-2028, skills development programs, establishment of TESDA Innovation Hubs, and the operationalization of the Philippine Digital Workforce Competitiveness and Creative Industries Act.

Mr. Borjal also mentioned that areas of cooperation and collaboration in terms of harnessing the potential of digital talents once identified through the DEFA may be further discussed among AMS.

Moving forward, the BGC shall finalize and submit the recommendations to the ASEAN Coordinating Committee on Electronic Commerce and Digital Economy (ACCED) and the Senior Economic Officials Meeting (SEOM) for further inputs.

The DEFA intends to set a resilient foundation for ASEAN to be a leading digital economy, where the seamless and secure flow of goods, services, and data is underpinned by enabling rules, regulations, infrastructure, and talent.