The central bank will lead the signing in July of a memorandum of understanding among 12 government agencies of the Philippines involved in drafting a national strategy for financial inclusion (NSFI).
An inter-agency body has been promoting the inclusion of yet unserved and underserved markets in the national financial system, which the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) considers as one clear way of ensuring sustained and broad-based inclusive growth, a principal goal of the government.
“By July this year, the heads of the agencies will sign a memorandum of understanding as a formal commitment to the NSFI objectives, principles and tactical plans,” BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said.
Tetangco made the announcement during his opening speech at the Luzon leg of the Regional Consultation for the NSFI draft held at the BSP Complex in Manila on Wednesday.
The draft national strategy was prepared by an inter-agency committee convened by the BSP in 2014.
The inter-agency committee considers it ideal to have a platform where the public and private sectors can cooperate to make financial inclusion, and eventually, inclusive growth, a reality.
“We need to ensure that across the country, our people are able to identify gains and prosper from opportunities of [economic]developments. We can achieve this through financial inclusion where there is a wide range of financial products and services that are responsive to the needs of Filipinos and supports broad-based and inclusive growth,” Tetangco said.
“We realized that the 13 agencies that drafted the NSFI have limited mandates, capacity and resources to implement the many possible interventions contemplated in the document. We are confident, however, that the NSFI can be fully implemented with ownership and support from a wide spectrum of public, private and even international stakeholders,” he concluded.
The inter-agency committee consists of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas, Cooperative Development Authority, Department of Budget and Management, Department of Education, Department of Finance, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Trade and Industry, Insurance Commission, National Economic Development Authority, Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation, Philippine Statistics Authority, and Securities and Exchange Commission.