By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
The Philippines fell 10 notches to 56th from 46th among 63 countries in the 2018 World Digital Competitiveness (WDC) Ranking pulled down by poor investments in R &D and education.
The WDC, which is published by the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) and an offshoot publication of the World Competitiveness Yearbook (WCY), evaluates countries digital competitiveness using 50 indicators spread across three factors: knowledge, technology, and future readiness.
The Philippines’ highest-ranked factor was Knowledge at 50th. This was driven by the Talent sub-factor, which is composed of mostly perceptions-based indicators, at 48th.
However, some indicators ranked low such as Total Expenditure on R&D as Percent of GDP (58th), Total R&D Personnel per Capita (56th), Total Public Expenditure on Education as Share of GDP (58th), and Pupil-Teacher Ratio in Tertiary Education (57th).
In the Future Readiness factor was ranked 52nd. One of its sub-factors – Business Agility – was the highest-ranked sub-factor at 31st and it is composed mostly of perceptions-based indicators. However, its two other sub-factors, Adaptive Attitudes and IT Integration, were ranked 60th and 57th, respectively.
Technology was the lowest-ranked factor at 58th. This low ranking was mostly driven by the
Regulatory Framework sub-factor, particularly the Starting a Business and Enforcing Contracts indicators, where the Philippines ranked 61st.
The low rank of the Technology factor was also driven by the Technological Framework sub-factor, specifically the Communications Technology and Internet. Bandwidth Speed indicators, where the Philippine placed 62nd and 61st, respectively.
The Knowledge factor measures the know-how necessary to build and adapt to new technologies. Technology is the overall country setting that enables digital technologies to develop. The Future Readiness factor measures the level of preparedness of the country to exploit and adapt to digital transformation.
These three factors were in turn divided into sub-factors. The knowledge factor was composed of talent, training and education, and scientific concentration sub-factors; technology was divided into regulatory framework, capital, and technological framework; while the future readiness factor was made up of Adaptive Attitudes, Business Agility, and IT Integration.