September 25, 2023

In partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry Competitiveness and Innovation Group (DTI-CIG) with support from the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (Unido) has spearheaded the Policy Forum on the Advancement of Industry 4.0 and Digital Transformation of Industries in the Philippines last July 21 at the Makati Diamond Residences, gathering around 50 innovation leaders from the government, private sector, academe, and development partners.

The forum fostered an open dialogue with renowned industry experts through a panel discussion.

DTI-CIG Usec. Rafaelita M. Aldaba underscored the Philippines’ exceptional proficiency in servicification and highlighted the potential of I4.0 technologies in further enhancing this aspect. 

“We can link our services with manufacturing, agriculture, and others, especially with the presence of these new technologies which would really require a lot of digital skills, software applications development, etc., these are things and areas that the Philippines has a comparative advantage,” Aldaba said.

The panelists aligned with this perspective as they shed light on how I4.0 continuously shapes society.

Arnel Cabungcal, assistant vice president for Manufacturing Operations Services and Technology of Unilab, Inc., highlighted the impact of artificial intelligence (AI).

“During the pandemic, through an emergency use authorization, the standard eight-year approval process of the vaccine was reduced to only eight months, with the aid of AI,” he said.

Ionics-EMS Inc. Chief Operating Officer Jay Chavez shared his experience of adopting smart manufacturing in the company’s operations and its impact on job placements. 

“With smart manufacturing increasing our production, we had to hire more people to do higher value tasks while remaining cost-effective,” he said.

The importance of enabling policies also greatly surfaced through the discussion as Emmanuel Lazaro Estrada, senior vice president for Regulatory Development and Strategy of Globe Telecom, Inc., was quoted as saying that “policies should be practical and human-centered.”

Anders Isaksson, Unido chief of the Capacity Development and Policy Advice Unit, supported this idea and reiterated the call for a needs-based approach.

“Knowing what needs to be done is very important for defining policy areas and reducing policy uncertainties” he said. – Press release