The Philippines ranked third in the world in terms of having a conducive environment for financial inclusion, according to a report by The Economist Intelligence Unit.

In the newly released Global Microscope on the Enabling Environment for Financial Inclusion, the Philippines is once again named as one of the global leaders in terms of financial inclusion, tied with India with a score of 78 out of 100.

The country’s ranking, however, was unchanged from last year. Colombia and Peru tied for the No. 1 spot.
According to the 2016 report, Colombia, Peru, India and the Philippines are the four leaders performing consistently well across all indicators considered in the study.

These include government support for financial inclusion, regulatory and supervisory capacity, requirements for non-regulated lenders, electronic payments, and the existence of credit reporting systems, market conduct rules, and dispute resolution mechanisms for financial consumers, as well as regulations on credit, deposit, microinsurance, and branches and agents.

The report said four leaders stood out from the rest in terms of regulation on insurance for low income population, digital financial services, and consumer protection.

“In the Philippines, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas also measures transactions in e-money accounts and is concerned about the lack of account use—an average of eight transactions in 2014 in each of 26.7 million accounts. Dormancy remains an issue but there is hope that this will change over time as people become more familiar with the possible uses of the accounts,” it stated.

The report recognized positive changes in the financial inclusion landscape of the Philippines since 2015.

These include the signing into law of Republic Act No. 10693 or the Microfinance NGOs Act which aims to strengthen nongovernment organizations engaged in microfinance operations for the poor, and Republic Act No. 10846 which amends the Charter of the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation to strengthen its institutional and governance framework.

The study also cited the revised reporting rules for cooperatives issued by the Cooperative Development Authority.


Rachel Quintos

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