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History books have taught us what the first industrial revolution brought to us. The power of mechanization, water power, and even steam power have propelled into what we have now — mass production, electricity as well as computers. A huge number of businesses are benefitting to technology and automation, and the Philippines is one of them.

However, the change in the revolution is catching up at a fast rate. It’s expected that the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR4) is coming, but is the Philippines ready for it?

In an article posted at Philstar Global, Rey Gamboa explains the impacts. He cited the ASEAN region’s automotive sector, explaining that vehicle manufacturers are converting their job processes from traditional (with human workforce) into automation. With this, Gamboa said the Philippines is expected to follow suit soon, which will eventually lead to job loss.

A Cisco-Oxford study, which is done by technology company Cisco and economic forecasting agency Oxford Economics, looked at the impact the fourth revolution is about to bring into the country in 2028. The study revealed that 10.1% of the workforce, or equivalent to 4.5 million jobs, will be affected, specifically the agriculture sector, with 1.2 million, and both wholesale/retail and manufacturing, with 880,000 and 380,000, respectively.

In contrary to this, the age of artificial intelligence (AI), the internet of things, digitization, and robotics, which is basically the fourth revolution, may open up jobs as both the workforce and the government would make a move and fast.

However, the government is not that fast to act, and along with low cost of labor and high cost of automation, the transition to digital is treading a slow pace. Going back to the government, Gamboa emphasized that the country’s governing body has not pushed businesses to take the leap into automation. As for private sectors, Gamboa said it’s all up to them whether it’s time to change or not.

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