Due to the restrictions brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, many Filipinos turned online to buy goods – specifically e-commerce platforms. The Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez can attest to it. 

According to Lopez, there’s been an increase in the adoption of e-commerce starting last year. He shared that their records show a significant shift to the online business model.

“We know the increased adoption of e-commerce over the past year. Our records will show that more and more people are getting into the online business,” he said at the Sulong Pilipinas 2021: Partners for Progress Forum held online yesterday (April 26).

Lopez said that DTI’s Business Name Registration System (BNRS) recorded 86,726 establishments that registered for online businesses from April to December 2020. 

It was significantly higher than the previous tally before the pandemic hit in March last year, which was only at 1,848. Lopez notes that registrations grew by three folds in the first quarter of 2021 – at 381 percent.

“COVID-19 accelerated the adoption of e-commerce and facilitated the digital transformation of businesses and government,” Lopez shared.

In the same forum, Lopez talked about the national government’s digitalization strategy. 

Lopez mentioned that they’ve already launched the first phase of the Central Business Portal (CBP), which has reduced processing for forms and document requirements. He adds that it has also shortened processing time for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to three to four days instead of ten. 

Besides this, it has also streamlined employee reporting for Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG Fund), Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth), and Social Security System (SSS).

The second phase of the government’s digitalization is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year, Lopez assured. 

“By the end of the year, we look forward to a Central Business Portal that is a game changer,” he shared. 

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Image credit: DTI’s Official Facebook Page