As COVID amplifies digital divide, PH calls on tech companies to make learning apps available and accessible

PH calls on tech companies 1

NEDA Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon highlights the important role of digital technology in realizing a ‘better’ normal during the virtual meeting of the 59th session of the United Nations Commission for Social Development on 11 February 2021.

NEW YORK 15 February 2021 – The critical role of digital technology demands that innovations on its use should be shared, in keeping with our commitment to sustainable development and inclusivity and to leave no one behind.

In her statement at the 59th session of the United Nations Commission for Social Development (CSocD 59) on 11 February 2021, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon underscored that while the COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the digital divide, the role of digital technology in realizing sustainable development remained fundamental and can be optimized by making the hardware and software, especially learning apps, widely available, affordable and accessible.

“We firmly believe that we can work together so that digital technology can be a catalyst towards strengthening the ties within and among our nations, and finally bring us towards recovery, resiliency, and sustainability to realize not just a ‘new’ but a ‘better’ normal for all,” she said.  

Undersecretary Edillon also highlighted steps undertaken by the Philippine government on the use of digital technologies in addressing the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, including the promotion of telemedicine to alleviate the surge and minimize the risks posed by unnecessary traffic in hospitals, setting up of hotlines and websites and partnership with private service providers to extend free medical consultation services. 

She also underscored the need to develop the necessary human capital that can build on digital technology.  “Let us increase the pool of thinkers, scientists and, especially, innovators as we need to always come up with solutions to new problems,” she added.

The Commission on Social Development takes place in a hybrid-format from 08 to 17 February 2021.  The Commission is the advisory body responsible for social development pillar for global development. The theme of the 59th session of the Commission is “Socially just transition towards sustainable development: role of digital technologies on social development and well-being of all”. END

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