In a webinar organized by the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST), Ayala said innovation has played a vital role in dealing with the challenges brought by the pandemic.
“The country is in dire need of transformation,” he said, noting that partnership among scientists, the private sector, and the government is a must, including in sharing knowledge with each other.
Ayala acknowledged that the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has been supportive of small businesses, expressing hope that locally developed innovations would gain more support.
“Innovation always comes after every crisis,” Ayala said, adding that innovation serves as a solution or a way to go out of a difficult situation.
He cited as an example the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) crisis which gave rise to China’s e-commerce industry.
“Healthcare, education, and financial services are just three sectors that were transformed (in the Covid-19) pandemic,” he said.
Ayala said that online education could be a permanent feature of Philippine education because of its benefits such as flexibility and access to rich content and micro-credentials.
In this time of pandemic, he said the Ayala University had 130 percent increase in online platform usage.
With regard to financial services, Ayala said the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas has been encouraging fintechs and traditional banks to innovate.
“Digital finance has an immense potential,” Ayala said.
He added that Globe’s virtual wallet, GCash, also had 138 percent increase in daily active users, and 157 percent jump in daily active transactions from March to June. (PNA)