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Catalysing Financial Inclusion and Economic Growth in the Philippines

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The Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) issuance of PhilIDs and ePhilIDs through the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) has emerged as a pivotal force, particularly in the field of mobile wallet services. The significance of these digital identities has been underscored by their prevalence as the most presented IDs for account verification, as revealed by data from the popular mobile wallet service in the country.

According to the report, a staggering 41% of valid IDs submitted by users for account verification are PhilIDs and ePhilIDs. This revelation speaks volumes about the efficacy of the PhilSys initiative in not only streamlining identification processes but also fostering secure and efficient financial transactions. The PhilSys has become an essential tool for account verification, ensuring the legitimacy of users and, consequently, enabling higher wallet limits and transaction capabilities.

PSA Undersecretary Claire Dennis S Mapa expressed her satisfaction with these statistics, viewing them as a success indicator of the collective efforts to promote the use and acceptance of PhilIDs and ePhilIDs across public and private establishments, including financial institutions. The collaboration with mobile wallet service has been instrumental in advancing the cause of financial inclusion among Filipinos.

The impact of PhilSys extends beyond the mobile wallet arena. By providing PhilIDs and ePhilIDs, the system addresses a longstanding challenge for many Filipinos—the lack of a valid ID for accessing financial services.

The collaboration with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) has proven particularly fruitful, resulting in a significant 170% increase in the number of Filipinos opening Basic Deposit Accounts (BDAs). The colocation strategy, allowing PhilSys-registered individuals to open transactional accounts with LANDBANK for free, has added 7.5 million BDAs in the latter part of 2022.

Usec Claire emphasised the continuous encouragement for Filipinos to utilise their PhilID or ePhilID in transactions, ensuring that PSA remains proactive in collaborating with public and private institutions for the recognition and acceptance of these digital IDs as valid proof of identity and age.

Further, the expedited printing and delivery of PhilIDs indicate a commitment to ensuring swift access to this crucial identification tool. As of 8 December 2023, around 44,803,320 PhilIDs have been delivered, and 42,830,384 ePhilIDs have been issued, reflecting the widespread adoption and recognition of these digital IDs.

In tandem with the success of PhilSys, the PSA released the Provincial Product Accounts (PPA) of Central Luzon, covering the period from 2018 to 2022. This comprehensive report sheds light on the economic growth and contributions of various provinces and cities in the region.

In 2022, the provinces of Bulacan and Pampanga emerged as the economic powerhouses of Central Luzon, together accounting for more than half of the region’s economy. Notably, three economies—Zambales, the City of Angeles, and the City of Olongapo—posted double-digit growth rates, signalling robust economic development in these areas.

The PPA serves as a crucial mechanism for compiling Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at the subregional level, offering insights into economic performance and aiding policymakers in crafting informed economic policies.

The success of PhilSys and the increasing economic growth in Central Luzon vividly highlight the transformative impact of digitalisation in the Philippines. PhilSys, with its innovative digital identity system, has become a catalyst for financial inclusion, providing a streamlined approach to secure transactions and facilitating increased access to formal banking services.

Alongside, the robust economic growth in Central Luzon, propelled by digital initiatives, exemplifies how technology is driving development. This symbiotic relationship between digitalisation, financial inclusion, and economic growth signifies a paradigm shift, affirming the pivotal role of technology in shaping a more inclusive and prosperous future for the Philippines.

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