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Local development councils to implement financial inclusion strategy

Updated: Jun 15

Regional and local development councils will be tasked to implement the National Strategy for Financial Inclusion (NSFI) 2022-2028, which the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) launched Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022.

Financial inclusion, which means providing the vulnerable sectors access to various financial services, will also be incorporated in the regional and local development plans.

The NSFI 2022-2028 is a blueprint for broad-based growth and financial resilience, and signifies the collective commitment of the government, private sector and civil society for a more financially included and empowered citizenry.

It is the second blueprint to be launched after the first strategy announced in 2015. The current blueprint takes into account the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno, who also chairs the Financial Inclusion Steering Committee (FISC), said they will endorse the issuance of an executive order to institutionalize the adoption of the NSFI at the local levels.

“The NSFI focuses on reducing disparities in financial inclusion; improving health and resilience; empowering consumers; and increasing access to finance of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), including startups, and the agriculture sector,” Diokno said in a statement.

The FISC is the interagency governing body that leads the collaborative approach in implementing the NSFI pursuant to Executive Order No. 208 series of 2016.

Under the NSFI 2022-2028, the FISC will organize working groups with members coming from:

  • Government (regulators, policymakers and LGU associations);

  • Providers (banks and non-bank financial institutions, telecommunications/ internet service providers and similar sectors, and their industry associations);

  • Consumers (consumer groups, civil society organizations, representatives of basic sectors and the transacting public); and

  • Supporting institutions (donors, development partners, academe, and think tanks).

The working groups will spearhead the implementation of NSFI priority initiatives, which include promoting inclusive digital finance, strengthening financial education and consumer protection, and enhancing risk protection, social safety nets, and the agriculture and MSME financing ecosystem. (Ventures Cebu)

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