BAGUIO CITY – The country’s banking system continues to show resiliency as the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) hit its target for digital payments in 2021.
BSP Northern Luzon Regional Office Director Noel Neil Malimban said Friday BSP has “achieved our 2021 the target of a 20-percent increase in digital payments that was set in 2015” despite the restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Malimban said BSP’s goal of financial inclusion is 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 which 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. The people save their money through bank deposits and those borrowing money use it for their investment. People borrow from banks because they need to spend on something,” he explained.
“Banks increase in number because people see their need for their services, and individuals open accounts through 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,” he added.
The BSP regional official said digital financial platforms are also drivers of the economy, and money circulating through different channels is good for the economy. “The economy becomes okay when people spend),” he said.
Malimban noted that “based on the latest data at 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%. Loan portfolio of banks was recorded at P20.2 billion from P18.7 billion in the same period a year ago.”
Based on the economic performance report of the Philippine Statistics Authority released on Thursday, the Cordillera Administrative Region posted a 7.5% growth in its Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP).
The same records show that banking, which is part of the service sector and among the 15 indicators of the GRDP, has posted a 7.6% positive growth in 2021. Financial activities are 11.9% 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. (PNA)