The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) of the Philippines is working with a Singapore-based Filipino startup through its Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) in Singapore, to fix shortcomings of the postal code system in the Philippines and make deliveries more efficient.
The Philippine postal code is a four-digit number representing a barangay (the smallest administrative division in the Philippines and the native Filipino term for a village, district or ward) within a city or city district (as in the case for Manila) within Metro Manila, and outside Metro Manila, a town or city. In general, more than one code is issued for areas within Metro Manila, and provincial areas are issued one code for each town and city, reducing the utility of the postal code in locating addresses.
The startup by four Filipinos from Cebu has developed an app called Geopik, which uses geohashing and geolocation technologies, similar to that used by apps such as Waze or Google Maps, to create a digital address system, with exact, customisable and easy-to-remember single codes.
The developers plan to map the address of every residential or commercial establishment in the country.
The press release states gives an example of a long, wordy, inexact address, “house with blue gate, in front of a mango tree”. Geopik could eliminate the hassle caused by addresses such as this and deal with the the common absence of house numbers.
This could bring about significant benefits for e-commerce, logistics, and other location-dependent businesses in the Philippines. In the long term, it could also assist in delivery of government services.
This initiative is aligned with the Philippine government’s thrust to develop an innovative entrepreneurial culture. In 2016, DTI launched the QBO Innovation Hub situated at the DTI International Building, Makati City. It is the first public-private innovation hub in the Philippines that provides support services to innovative startups and entrepreneurs. The DTI partners with incubator and accelerator Ideaspace Foundation, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), and JP Morgan.
Parallel initiatives are being led by PTIC in Singapore, where Commercial Counsellor Glenn Peñaranda, engages with the Filipino community by speaking at investment seminars and online channels on entrepreneurship.
Counsellor Peñaranda said, “Startups play a pivotal role in driving innovation and economic growth; hence we are happy to help GeoPik reach out to decision-makers and to potential users. We also look forward to work with more Filipino startups here in Singapore and the region and help them scale up.”
Read the press release here.