As the fourth industrial revolution or Industry 4.0 gain momentum, the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC), an attached agency of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), focused its 2018 National Productivity Conference on people-centric technologies & innovation for MSMEs. DOLE Undersecretary Ciriaco Lagunsad, III pointed out that the on-going concern on inflation can also be addressed by improving the productivity of producers which will influence prices. As such, he emphasized the need to embrace new technologies, but put people in control of technology.
Assistant Secretary Rafaelita Aldaba of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) supports the NWPC as she said that human capital is crucial for innovation and entrepreneurship. DTI’s approach to implement Industry 4.0 is through the Inclusive Industrial Innovation Strategy that aims to link the manufacturing sector with agriculture and services. Such links can be realized when there are regional inclusive innovation centers where government, research agencies, academe and industry collaborate for improved competitiveness.
Asian Development Bank’s Director of Development Economics and Indicators Dr. Rana Hasan confirms that technology increases incomes, contrary to the fear of many that jobs will be lost with the use of artificial intelligence (AI). He said that AI cannot be stopped as it is already here. Education, training and social protection such as unemployment insurance are necessary to cope with these new technologies. (EZM)