16 February 2022
Congratulations to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on the launch of its latest national financial inclusion strategy (NFIS), which the central bank said will serve a nation-wide blueprint towards driving widespread growth and financial resilience through financial inclusion.
The six-year strategy, which runs until 2028, defines four desired outcomes: reduced disparities in financial inclusion, improved financial health and resilience, more financially capable and empowered consumers, and increased access to finance for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
These priorities, BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno said, will not only help measure the strategy’s success but also make it a “powerful tool for communicating our bold commitments to the financial inclusion agenda.”
“[The strategy] heralds the continuation of our financial inclusion journey: one that is to be pursued with even greater purpose, to open opportunities for every Filipino to become both the beneficiary and foundation of growth and prosperity,” he said during the strategy’s virtual launch event.
Furthering the accomplishments of previous strategies, Governor Diokno said that BSP’s new NFIS focuses on a more financial included and empowered citizenry, explaining that it “takes a deliberate stance to address the significant disparities in financial inclusion levels across demographics and segments.”
While significant progress has been made in recent years, a 2019 financial inclusion survey found that 71 percent of Filipinos, or 51.2 million people, remained outside the formal financial sector.
To help reduce this figure, the NFIS outlines four key objectives. They are to promote inclusive digital finance, strengthen financial education and consumer protection, enhance access to risk protection and social safety nets, and enhance agriculture and MSME financing ecosystem. Strengthen financial education and consumer protection. of inclusive growth and financial
Governor Diokno also used the launch event to thank various financial inclusion stakeholders and call on them to continue their “unwavering dedication and zeal” to ensure that “all Filipinos can thrive and prosper”.
Joining other dignitaries, including President Rodrigo Duterte and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, at the online event was AFI Executive Director Dr Alfred Hannig. He delivered a pledge to uphold the vision and goals of the NFIS by contributing to its successful implementation and meaningful initiatives.
“With the utmost dedication and dynamism, the AFI network affirms its support to our principal member, the BSP, in effective implementation of the NFIS aimed at improving the access, usage and quality of financial services to the unbanked through effective policies, thus supporting the common vision of financial inclusion towards inclusive growth and resilience in the Philippines,” Dr Hannig said.
BSP is a founding member of AFI, having joined the network in 2009. This is the central bank’s second NFIS after its first was unveiled in 2015, which outlined core principles that guided years of dedication and action towards bringing more Filipinos into the formal financial system.