PH up two spots in global digital competitiveness ranking

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 29) — The Philippines placed higher in a database evaluating the competitiveness of countries in adopting and exploring digital technologies this year.

The country placed 56th out of 63 countries in the 2022 International Institute for Management Development (IMD) World Digital Competitiveness Ranking, improving from its 58th spot last year.

Three factors are used to determine an economy's overall ranking: knowledge, technology, and future readiness. The Philippines saw all factors but future readiness improve in 2022.

The Philippines moved one notch up to finish at 62nd in knowledge, which the IMD defined as "intangible infrastructure" allowing the discovery, understanding, and learning of new technologies. It said these, in turn, will lead to digital transformation.

The global organization listed as the country's overall strengths its graduates in the sciences along with female researchers, which fall under knowledge sub-factors training and education, and scientific concentration, respectively.

Manila ranked 49th in technology, five slots higher than its placement in 2021.

This factor evaluates a country's overall context in facilitating development of digital technologies. IMD said the Philippines' top strengths in technology are its investment in telecommunications, under the capital sub-factor, and percentage of high-tech exports, part of the technological framework sub-factor.

The country, however, placed lower by a notch in future readiness at 58th. Future readiness pertains to how widely technology is adopted by governments, business, and society.

IMD only listed one top strength for the Philippines' future readiness: its attitudes towards globalization.

Despite its better overall ranking, the Philippines again placed 13th out of 14 countries in the Asia-Pacific. Mongolia remained behind the pack.

"The ranking improvement, while it is a welcome development, is insignificant at best," said Infrawatch PH convenor Terry Ridon over Viber, attributing the country's higher spot to strides made by the public and private sectors in expediting tower development.

The lawyer and former lawmaker stressed the Philippines must catch up in technology development and realize additional gains in governance to push up its rankings.

IMD likewise listed challenges the Philippines faces this year:

- Implementing effective post-pandemic economic recovery strategies while strengthening fiscal responsibility

- Regaining lost momentum in poverty reduction and inclusive economic development

- Promoting innovative governance and a smooth post-election transition of power

- Building resilient and future-ready health and education systems

- Investing in sustainable infrastructure and reducing climate change vulnerability

"It is unacceptable that we are at the bottom of regional rankings compared to regional partners who had experienced war and other major disasters," said Ridon, who also criticized how Filipinos remain technology consumers instead of producers.

Singapore bested other countries in the Asia-Pacific this year, climbing one notch from its ranking in 2021.

Meanwhile, Denmark rose three spots to finish first in the 2022 digital competitiveness ranking.