Senator Robin Padilla is among government officials who have voiced support for the use of blockchain technology in streamlining businesses and services across the Philippines.
Talking to CoinGeek Backstage on the sidelines of the Philippine Blockchain Week 2023 in September, Padilla said that while blockchain is relatively new to the Philippines, it was not his first time to be involved in conferences surrounding the technology.
“I don’t recall if it was 2014 or 2015 when they invited me, then they showed me how it (blockchain) works,” he told CoinGeek Backstage reporter Claire Celdran.
The lawmaker said it was his eagerness to resolve terrorism in the country that pushed him to learn and advocate for the use of the emerging technology.
“During that time, terrorism was affecting the Muslim community. So, I really dwelt into it—how to track where the money is coming from, and blockchain made it very easy,” said Padilla, recalling his first exposure to blockchain technology.
Padilla said he is glad that businesses and the national government are working together to aid the adoption of blockchain in the country, which has been dealing with traditional operations, likening them to services done in the 1950s despite the evolution happening in the global technological landscape.
“Exposure to blockchain will really help us a lot,” he said, noting that the use of the emerging technology would make transactions faster.
“You know, if transactions are fast, it means there is progress. That’s the sign there is progress,” added Padilla.
Not only would services and operations be streamlined when integrated with blockchain, but they would also help grow the Philippine economy, the senator said.
“Let’s not forget, as I said earlier, that global power is no longer military but technology,” Padilla said, emphasizing the limitless capabilities of blockchain. “If we, the Philippines, stick to being conventional, we will be left behind.”
When asked if there are drafted or incoming regulations governing emerging technologies, Padilla said there are, with the Senate pushing for digitalizing government services and other bills related to the country’s technological advancement. While he did not divulge details on this matter, he assured Filipinos that the government is working to ensure that the country is progressing on its digitalization bid.
But Padilla pointed out the need for the blockchain community, citing their expertise in the technology, to work with the government in proposing regulations that would govern the safe usage of emerging technologies and help Filipinos reap rewards from it.
Padilla then acknowledged the work being done to help Bataan’s digitalization, stressing that it is the stepping stone that would support the country in embracing the technology.
“Excellent move by Bataan. I hope you become the pioneers of implementing blockchain within the government,” he said.
Currently, only a few enterprises and businesses in the Philippines are using blockchain, which, according to Padilla, is understandable, given the lack of knowledge of the technology. But he is optimistic that more people and businesses will get on board once the government and its partners showcase what blockchain can do.
“Right now, the struggle is that people don’t understand blockchain,” Padilla said. “In all aspects of life, education is key. We have to educate ourselves and let blockchain educate us.”
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