At the four-part series called “Technology and the Legal Practice'' held from August 13 to September 4 and hosted by Apptitude for the legal community, heavyweights from the government and the private sector discussed the importance of digital transformation for public services, people and the economy.
Opening the series was Supreme Court Justice Jhosep Lopez, who, prior to serving as Justice for the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals, was a prosecutor and chief legal counsel to various national and local elected policymakers.
He opened the series speaking on the importance of adapting to the Digital Age and how the Supreme Court has done this in the midst of the pandemic. He also acknowledged how innovations, such as Apptitude’s Mandatory Continuing Legal Education certificates on the blockchain, improve transparency and authentication of qualifications.
Also from the public sector, lawmakers Senator Sherwin Gatchalian and Senator Ping Lacson emphasized the importance of technology in improving the delivery of public services.
Senator Gatchalian spoke of how technology has enabled national and local government units, such as Valenzuela, to streamline processes and create greater efficiencies in the delivery of public services. He pushed for Senate Bill No. 1793 or the Full Digital Transformation Act for the entire government to adopt the Philippine Digital Transformation Strategy 2022 and provide for the integration of e-government services by end-2022.
Meanwhile, Senator Lacson discussed the legislative agenda on ICT, particularly the passage of the Philippine Identification System, the roll-out of the digital connectivity program, and the expansion of science, technology, and innovation initiatives. Both the government and legal community, he said, play a role in marshaling tech adoption to ensure this improves judicial values and results in the efficient delivery of public services.
From the private sector, Apptitude Chief Executive Officer Mars Veloso drew on his depth of experience as CEO of the technology startup, consultant to San Miguel Corporation and widely published thought leader on Technology, ICT and Virtual Property to provide a unique point of view on the future of technology and its impact on public services and the legal community.
Holding both a Bachelor of Science and a Juris Doctor of Law from the University of the Philippines, and serving as Chairman of Legal Tech Philippines Association and Co-Founder of Legal Hackers Manila, Veloso’s insights brilliantly intersected the technology and legal fields. He sees the rapid adoption of digitalization in the past year as an inflection point in how services will be delivered by both the private and public sectors in the years to come.
Meanwhile, UnionBank Senior Executive Vice President, Chief Technology and Operations Officer, and Chief Transformation Officer Henry Aguda who also serves as Chairman of UnionBank’s fintech subsidiary UBX, graced the event as well and spoke on the use cases and impact of legal tech. Throughout his distinguished career, a number of key innovations were implemented with Aguda at the helm such as the IT Manage Services of Digitel in the early 2000s, Globe’s Public Cloud Adoption with AWS in early 2012 and at UnionBank, its API Open Banking in 2016, Agile methodology in 2017, Blockchain experimentation and use cases in 2018, Fintech partnerships in 2018, use of 5G technology for banking and DevSecOps in 2019, and most recently Metaverse Banking this year.
Aguda has also won multiple awards from the likes of the Asian Banker and the European Global Banking and Finance Awards. Apart from his role at UnionBank, Aguda is involved in the academic circles as a Senior Lecturer at the University of the Philippines Diliman Technology Management Center (UPTMC), Global Faculty Mentor and Director of the Academic Advisory Board of the Institute of Digital Transformation (AIDT), and author of a book entitled “Data Privacy & Cybercrime Prevention in the Philippine Digital Age.” Recently, Henry was been inaugurated to be a Fellow of the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD).
To cap off the four-part series, the launch of the Legal Tech Philippines Association was announced. The Association aims to build on the ideas and challenges raised by these technology pioneers at each of the last four sessions of the Technology and the Legal Practice series. It will do so by collaborating with the country’s policymakers, best legal minds and technologists in advocating for the wider adoption of legal tech and educating on its benefits and use cases.