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Filipino Financial Inclusion Updated as FISC Launch New National Strategy for Financial Inclusion

The Financial Inclusion Steering Committee (FISC) in the Philippines has announced the country’s financial inclusion blueprint that will be rolled out over the next six years: The National Strategy for Financial Inclusion (NSFI) 2022-2028. 

Introduced on July 1, 2015, the original NSFI laid the foundations and guiding principles of an inclusive financial system with the goal of fostering public-private coordination and harmonising policies and programs on financial inclusion in the country.

But recent developments required the FISC to revisit its vision and strategy in order to reflect changing realities brought about by technological advances to the ongoing health crisis, said Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor and FISC Chairman Benjamin E. Diokno.

“The NSFI 2022-2028 signifies our greater collective commitment and aspiration for a more financially included and empowered citizenry,” BSP Governor Diokno said during the welcome remarks.

The NSFI 2022-2028 is focused on delivering four outcomes: reduced disparities in financial inclusion; improved health and resilience; more financially capable and empowered consumers; and increased access to finance by micro, small and medium enterprises or MSMEs, including startups, and the agriculture sector.

The new strategy also emphasises financial resilience as a lens for the country’s financial inclusion work, recognising that many Filipinos, especially the poor, are facing increased vulnerabilities from the health crisis, climate change, and inevitable shifts in the economic and labour landscape.

The launch program featured a pre-recorded message from President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. “This occasion highlights the importance of a financial system that is pro-growth and pro-poor to reduce income inequalities,” President Duterte said.

The President added that the NSFI “benefits the disadvantaged and low-income groups to reduce financial stress and help them to become more productive.”

Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA) also delivered a pre-recorded speech.

She commended the new strategy’s special emphasis on resilience and financial health, twin goals which she said resonated with her work as UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate.

The Queen visited the Philippines in 2015 in her UN capacity for the launch of the first NSFI.

“I am hopeful that this new national financial inclusion strategy will serve as a key enabler in building a more resilient future for all Filipinos, as well as provide another shining example for other countries to emulate,” Queen Máxima said in her pre-recorded message.

The launch event included the unveiling of the financial inclusion logo and donning of the financial inclusion pin by members of the Financial Inclusion Steering Committee (FISC) and key stakeholders.

The FISC members and other financial inclusion champions from the government, private sector and development agencies also recited a pledge of commitment to the NSFI 2022-2028. The pledge highlighted their affirmation to uphold the vision and goals of the NSFI by contributing to its successful implementation through meaningful and resonant initiatives in their respective sectors.

The hybrid event was hosted via Webex and Zoom online facilities and live-streamed via Facebook. It enjoined Filipino viewers to engage and participate in the launch and implementation with the hashtag, #KabilangAko.

Authors

  • Francis is a journalist and our lead LatAm correspondent, with a BA in Classical Civilization, he has a specialist interest in North and South America.

  • Executive Economic Development Advisor (Emerging Markets) | Contributor

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