The country needs to support the development and promotion of distributed ledger technology (DLT)-based systems and platforms, which can be utilized to improve government services and processes and by different sectors such as trade and commerce.
A policy brief published by the Department of Trade and Industry-Bureau of Trade and Industrial Policy Research (BTIPR) said the government should invest in digital research and development (R&D), in collaboration with local and international technical experts and resource persons.
“This would ensure that the government is equipped with the proper knowledge and technical know-how regarding DLT, given that they will also be drafting and implementing future related policies,” it said.
R&D would also enable the government to develop their own DLT designs and specifications according to a specific need, it added.
The paper particularly cited the Inclusive Filipinnovation and Entrepreneurship Roadmap developed by the DTI which aims to create Regional Inclusive Innovation Centers (RIICs) in different parts of the country.
The RIICs will initiate productive collaboration among the public sector, academe, and industries, and will link together various innovative programs and projects by the DTI and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
“The roadmap implementation may serve as an avenue for DLT-related R&D to come into fruition,” it said.
On infrastructure, the country needs modern information and communications technology (ICT) equipment that are at par with international standards.
“In order to fully integrate the public into a digital economy, a good infrastructure would particularly sustain the much needed data storage, security, and overall operations of DLT-based systems,” it added.
The policy brief further said it is imperative to draft a Philippine Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) Roadmap given the country’s continuous development and migration from traditional to digital economy, and develop standards and guidelines for DLT-related services and operations.
“(The DLT roadmap) would determine the proposed public programs/projects that would initiate dialogues and encourage participation of concerned entities. It would also show the government’s vision of how the DLT will be applied and fulfilled within a certain Timeframe,” it added.
The paper further said the Philippine government should also set standards and guidelines for security, privacy, integrity, trust, interoperability, and infrastructure related to DLT operations.
“Standards would aid in the proper implementation and utilization of the technology, depending on the mode and method of which it will be used. It would also ensure that DLT-enabled mechanisms in the country are at par with international best practices,” it said.
The policy brief said it is also imperative to create a regulatory sandbox for DLT-based products and services, as well as future emerging technologies, in order to enhance and support the innovative growth of the industry.
“By having a regulatory sandbox, DLT-based innovations could be tested without ample costs in compliance and exhaustive protection of consumer interests. It may also mitigate the risks and unintended consequences of new technologies, giving the necessary financial leeway to innovators,” it added.
The government is one sector that produces and retains a huge amount of data, a lot of which are sensitive information. Using DLT in public services can potentially help ensure data privacy and security, improve bureaucratic processes, reduce transaction costs, and facilitate convenience.
Apart from trade and commerce, DLT can be adopted in different sectors, such as agriculture and healthcare.
A number of countries have already adopted DLT in providing government services and conducting public projects.
In the Philippines, some banks in the finance industry have already begun using DLT in order to improve banking services and fast-track payment and remittance services.