THE Department of Finance (DOF) said it has achieved a lot in strengthening the country’s relationship and integrating with its neighbors, as well as international and local development partners in the first six months of the Duterte administration.
In a statement on Wednesday, the DOF said a defining moment in the government’s quest for greater regional unity was President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to his Cabinet during his four-day visit to Beijing on the swift pivot to integration with the member-economies of the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) and its trading partners South Korea, China and Japan.
In line with the government’s continued efforts to help develop the Asean Economic Community, the DOF said it also delivered on the Philippines’ commitment to expand market access in the banking and securities sectors for the regional bloc through: the Philippines’ Seventh Package of Financial Services Liberalization Commitments; and chairmanships at the Asean’s Working Committee on Financial Services Liberalization (WC-FSL), and Sub-Working Group on Financial Services that will help realize the envisioned Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
Another area that the DOF spearheaded in 2016 was the Cebu Action Plan, which “seeks to generate concrete cooperative outputs among member economies of the Asia-Pacific Cooperation (APEC) and partner international institutions in implementing initiatives on financial integration, fiscal transparency and reforms, financial resilience and infrastructure financing.”
The DOF also continued to follow through on its efforts of promoting financial inclusion across the APEC region through the hosting of two conferences for the Financial Infrastructure Development Network in Manila in 2016.
In 2016, the DOF-National Credit Council (NCC) continued its advocacies on financial inclusion by teaming up with government regulators and concerned agencies, private institutions such as insurance companies and brokers, and donor partners that include the International Finance Corporation-World Bank (IFC-WB), Asian Development Bank (ADB) and German Technical Cooperation (GIZ) on various projects towards inclusive growth.
In implementing reforms on secured transactions, the DOF-NCC and Land Registration Authority (LRA) teamed up with the IFC-WB in harmonizing the Philippine Chattel Mortgage Law and other related status on secured transactions–a project that broadens the utilization of movable assets as collateral for loans by micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) thus, increases access to credit of micro enterprises.
“The DOF-NCC also continues to explore possible areas of collaboration with donor partners that are geared towards inclusive growth. The ADB, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), GIZ, and Economic Research Institute for Asean and East Asia (ERIA) have recently signified interest to support more financial inclusion initiatives of the government through technical assistance,” the DOF said.