The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has launched an initiative to get more familiar with blockchain. The department has launched a training program for its technologists to bring them up to speed with blockchain technology and its adoption for practical application in the country.
The DOST is the executive department of the Philippines government responsible for coordinating science and technology-related projects and for formulating policies and projects in the fields of science and technology in support of national development.
According to local news outlet Philippine Star, the DOST says a shortage of blockchain specialists has necessitated the program among its staff. The training will help the country fully harness the “important emerging technology” that blockchain is.
The head of the DOST-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD), Enrico Paringit, highlighted that the program would not only help to identify financial use cases for blockchain. Uses cases in healthcare, tax collection, identification, record keeping, financial aid, and emergency aid provision will also be explored.
“Our aim in producing blockchain development specialists is not so much on use cases that tend to focus on financial services mainly on cryptocurrency, but to support how government agencies could also use blockchain…Our intention really is to build non-cryptocurrency applications (of blockchain technology),” he said.
Around 70 technologists from the department make up the first set of trainees. About PHP1.6 million (around US$30,500) have been secured in funding for the program.
The parastatal had previously signed an memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Digital Pilipinas (DP) to lay out strategies for establishing university-based innovation centers across the Philippines, according to a report by Manila Bulletin (MB).
The Philippines adopting blockchain and not digital currencies?
While it has been advancing toward finding use cases for blockchain technology, regulators in the Southeast Asian country has been vocally discouraging the adoption of digital currencies.
The country’s securities regulator, the Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has issued several warnings against digital currency scams, Ponzi schemes, and the general volatility of the market.
Regardless, the populace of the country has not been deterred from investing massively in digital assets. The high demand for investments in the sector saw one of the country’s biggest financial institutions launch a digital currency bond offering.
The investment vehicles’ popularity has also spurred one of the country’s economic zones, Bataan, to seek to attract digital currency and blockchain companies.
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