“Like the first three industrial revolutions, [the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” (IR4)] has the potential to raise global income levels and improve the quality of life for populations around the world. Predictably, those who have benefited most from it have been consumers who are able to afford and access the digital world.
This became very obvious during the pandemic when, as instruction in schools went online, the vast majority of pupils in the public schools have been left behind because of lack of internet connections and of digital devices needed in remote learning.
Some 40% of our population who belong to the middle- and high-income classes have been enabled by IR4 to have access to new products and services that increase the efficiency and pleasure of their personal lives. They can now remotely order a cab, book a flight, buy a product, make a payment, listen to music, watch a film, or play a game. The question is how long will it take for the remaining 60% of the population to also reap the benefits of IR4?”
In his regular column for BusinessWorld, eminent economist Dr. Bernardo M. Villegas notes how the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” has already had an impact on the middle- and high-income classes of the Philippine classes, but hasn’t yet had much impact on the remaining 60%.
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