Photo by Patrick van Katwijk, Office of the UNSGSA

24 May 2024

Financial inclusion in the Philippines in the spotlight during UNSGSA Queen Máxima visit

On 23 May, H.M. Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA), met Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor, Dr. Eli M. Remolona Jr., to explore opportunities to advance financial inclusion in the country.

The meeting was held during the UNSGSA’s three-day mission to the Philippines, which sought to support scaling up financial services for better financial health. Queen Máxima and Dr Remolona discussed ways to accelerate financial inclusion foundational building blocks such as connectivity and interoperable payments. The importance of financial health metrics was also emphasized, highlighting the need for robust measures to track progress and ensure financial health for all Filipinos.

On 21 May, a Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas team accompanied Queen Máxima on a series of field visits, where the UNSGSA learnt how members of a fishing community in Talim Island are benefiting from digital financial services provided by a microfinance-oriented rural bank.

Queen Máxima also explored GrowSari, a digital platform that provides affordable loans, fast delivery of inventory, and services such as bill payments, ticket purchases, and mobile phone top-ups.

Throughout her visit, the UNSGSA emphasized the pivotal role of financial services in improving economic prospects and quality of life, particularly for underserved communities.

The UNSGSA was supported by members of her Reference Group, including the Alliance for Financial Inclusion, the Better than Cash Alliance, the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor, and the World Bank.

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