Exporters launch digitalization effort to help industry recover

AN EXPORT industry group is rolling out a digitalization and business continuity program to help companies recover from the effects of the pandemic.

The Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (Philexport) announced the P30 program — a reference to the association’s 30-year anniversary next year — which focuses on using technology to improve business decision-making and promote collaboration among stakeholders.

The pandemic has accelerated the need for businesses to be more resilient, Philexport Executive Vice-President Senen M. Perlada said at a general membership meeting Tuesday.

“The first strategy is to embrace technology in various forms: digital technology, information technology, business technology, communication technology, product technology,” he said.

“The other strategy is to strengthen and tighten collaboration with stakeholders, as may be seen in the various forms and levels of public private partnerships and collaboration that Philexport has entered into.”

The project includes the rollout of the Philexport portal, an online information and services center for exporters.

“The overarching objective for the year-long undertaking is to set in place systems and adopt the tools that will help Philexport and its members survive and thrive,” Mr. Perlada said.

“The dynamics of this COVID-19 pandemic are actually providing us experiential data…. information, knowledge, and insights into how to make Philexport organizations resilient.”

Philexport is helping businesses set up digitalization or automation efforts, along with business continuity procedures.

“We wish to take this opportunity, while business is ‘muted’ to do house-keeping, capacity building,” Mr. Perlada said.

Exporters have been set back by global logistics delays. The global shipping industry has been facing a shortage of vessel space after demand bounced back in some countries, pushing freight rates higher and causing delays in goods shipments.

Philexport President Sergio R. Ortiz-Luis, Jr. said that the solution is not within the industry group’s sole control, even as it works with other stakeholders to address shipment problems with domestic shipping lines.

“We hope that more and more international shipping lines will respond positively to this situation ahead of the holiday purchases,” he said.

The industry group will also set up regular forums to help exporters deal with government requirements.

“(We have) another collaboration platform as we work with government agencies to ease up and inform members about regulatory requirements,” Mr. Perlada said. — Jenina P. Ibanez