Philippines to explore blockchain use cases, launches training program

The Philippines has started exploring blockchain technology use cases, launching a training program for researchers in the government’s Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

Enrico Paringit, a DOST official, said that the goal of the training is to see how blockchain can play a role in areas like healthcare, financial support and emergency aid. Paringit noted that the department is also looking at how blockchain can be used in the issuance of passports and visas, trademark registration and government records.

While cryptocurrency is a prominent application for blockchain, the DOST official highlighted that the department intends to “build non-cryptocurrency applications,” adding that it aims to produce blockchain development specialists that could support the government in various applications of the technology.

The program received funding that could cover the expenses of training information technology specialists and researchers. However, Paringit highlighted that the lack of local blockchain experts has given the department difficulties.

Fortunato de la Peña, the Philippines’ secretary of science and technology, also weighed in, saying that blockchain is “an important emerging technology” that the country needs to develop.

Related: The Philippines to launch pilot CBDC implementation

Back in April, PayMaya, a digital payment provider based in the Philippines, launched a crypto trading feature within its application. The app, often used by Filipinos for online shopping or transferring money locally, has listed Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH) and other prominent cryptocurrencies for trading with the Philippine peso.

The same month, Voyager Innovations — the firm behind PayMaya — surpassed a $1 billion valuation after receiving funds to develop PayMaya’s recently added crypto offerings. The company recognizes that there are opportunities in serving the Filipino population when it comes to digital finance.