BSP hits digital economy target in 2021


The country’s banking system continues to show resiliency as the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) hit its target for digital payments in 2021.

“Noong 2021, na-achieve natin yung target na 20 percent use of digital payments. Ang target nun was set in 2015 (We achieved in 2021 the target of a 20-percent increase in digital payments that was set in 2015),” said Noel Neil Malimban, regional director of the BSP Northern Luzon Regional Office in an interview with the Philippine News Agency on Friday.

Amid restrictions caused by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, he said the use of digital platforms accelerated as people decided to open digital accounts.

Malimban said the BSP’s goal of financial inclusion was not only limited to encouraging every Filipino to open and have an account with a banking institution but also convincing them to open an account on digital platforms.

In 2021, he said the number of banks that operate in the Cordillera Administrative Region increased from 200 to 202 with the opening of two rural banks in Ifugao.

The opening of banks or branches of a bank proved that the economy is moving forward and that the people are giving their trust in the banking system.

“When banks open, the economy is good because a bank is an intermediary. Iniipon ng mga tao ang pera thru deposits at yung mga nangangailangan na umutang sa kanila ay umuutang kasi uutang ka dahil mag-iinvest ka. Mga businessmen, uutang. Ang mga tao, uutang sa bangko dahil may pagkakagastusan sila (the people save their money thru deposits and those borrowing money use it for their investment. People borrow from the bank because they need to spend on something.),” Malimban said.

“Banks increase in number because people see their need for the service and the individuals open accounts thru the digital platform because they trust the financial system. Many need money for investment, many are saving in banks, money will circulate and that is good for the country’s economy,” Malimban said.

The digital financial platforms are also drivers of the economy, he added.

He said money circulating through different channels is good for the economy. “Nakita naman natin ‘pag gumagastos ka, okay ang economy. (The economy becomes okay when people spend),” he added.

“Based on the latest data which is the end of September 2021, we continue to see overall credit conditions providing ample support to economic activity as bank lending in CAR grew by 8.1 percent. Loan portfolio of banks was recorded at PHP20.2 billion from PHP18.7 billion in the same period a year ago,” he said.

Based on the economic performance report of the Philippine Statistics Authority released on Thursday, the Cordillera Administrative Region posted a 7.5-percent growth in its Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP).

Banking, which is part of the service sector and among the 15 indicators of the GRDP, has shown a positive growth of 7.6 percent in 2021.

Financial activities are 11.9 percent of the GRDP, which is the third contributor to the region’s economy.

“The BSP remains committed to its mandate of maintaining price stability and financial stability and safe, efficient, and inclusive payments and settlement systems,” Malimban said.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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