President Rodrigo Duterte (File photo from an RTVM video)
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered all government departments, agencies, institutions and branches to support the implementation of the National Strategy for Financial Inclusion 2022-2028 (NSFI) to "harmonize" measures, policies, and other efforts on financial inclusion.
The NSFI, which is spearheaded by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, aims for inclusive growth and financial resistance for all Filipinos.
In signing Memorandum Circular No. 97 on Thursday, Duterte directed all departments, agencies and instrumentalities of the government, including state universities and colleges, government-owned or -controlled corporations, and foreign-based agencies to:
-incorporate relevant priority initiatives under the NSFI in their respective work programs, policies and budgets
-participate in working groups created by the Financial Inclusion Steering Committee (FISC) and other NSFI initiatives
-provide relevant data, upon request, subject to data sharing regulations for purposes of monitoring and evaluation of the NSFI's implementation
The memorandum likewise enjoins regional development councils and equivalent bodies to adopt financial inclusion as a development agenda.
They are "highly encouraged" to reflect financial inclusion objectives, priorities, and targets, in accordance with the NSFI, in their regional and local plans and programs.
Local government units (LGUs) are also encouraged to promote financial inclusion with their respective jurisdictions, particularly in their capacity development programs, provincial development and physical framework plans, and other local planning, programming and budgeting, local legislation, project development, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation activities.
Duterte tasked the FISC to coordinate and provide technical assistance to regional development councils and LGUs in the implementation of the circular.
It should also conduct information and education and communication activities towards building public understanding on the NSFI.
In March, the BSP said the NSFI will cover sectors most vulnerable to natural calamities and economic shocks.
It had identified "improved access to social protection and social safety nets"— cash assistance, health and unemployment insurance, disaster risk insurance, and pension—as one of its objectives.
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