Google Philippines unveiled a digital literacy program for a million Filipinos in the Visayas and Mindanao as the internet giant expects the value of the country’s online market to reach $19 billion by 2025.
The company is supporting, through a grant, a nationwide program dubbed “Digibayanihan,” which promotes digital inclusion among Filipinos.
Though its charitable arm, google.org, Google champions people and projects that are facing “the biggest human challenges of the 21st century” by focusing on the improvement of ICT-enabled (information and communication technology) literacy.
“This step is part of our continuing effort to create a stronger, more inclusive digital economy in the Philippines,” Google Philippines country manager Kenneth Lingan said in a statement.
“While our internet penetration has improved in the last five years, two out of five Filipinos are still missing out on the huge opportunities that come with being online,” Lingan said. “We want to empower them with digital know-how so that they can make the most of the internet.”
Google also launched in the Philippines a program called Launchpad Accelerator, providing equity-free support to help start-ups scale into thriving companies.
Based on a Google-commissioned study made by Temasek, which shows a rising value of the online business in the Philippines, the company believes that e-commerce will be a major economic driver in the next 10 years.
“Our local developers and start-ups are instrumental in creating impactful businesses that are tackling tough local and global issues,” Lingan said.
“We see the importance of their role in what will be a booming e-commerce in our country in the very near future because what they do have direct impact on people’s lives,” Ken said.
In fact, real-estate start-up Zipmatch, which uses 360-degree technology to differentiate itself, is the first Filipino participant in Google’s accelerator program.