The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) gained backing from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) in its recent advise highlighting the Philippine Identification (PhilID) card or national ID as the official evidence of identity for transactions with government and commercial entities.

 

The central bank also complimented the PSA on the satisfactory launch turnout of the third and final step of the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) mass registration, in which successful registrants received PhilID cards and PhilSys Numbers.

 

According to a recent report from the state-run Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank), as of April 30, a total of 2.482 million unbanked PhilSys had signed up for Landbank transaction accounts.

 

“The PhilSys will be a strategic enabler for a more inclusive new economy, bringing us closer to our shared vision of prosperity for all,” BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said in on Friday night.

 

He went on to say that the Bangko Sentral is fully committed to aiding the government and PSA in achieving PhilSys’ goal.

 

The central bank also reminded banks of the provisions of Republic Act 1105, or the Philippine Identification System Act, which state that the PhilID card is a valid proof of identification that is honored and recognized in bank transactions without the need to present any other documentary evidence.

 

In the BSP’s 2019 Financial Inclusion Survey, one of the top barriers to opening a bank account was document requirements. With the PhilID card, unbanked Filipinos will be allowed to create bank accounts, including basic deposit accounts (BDA).

 

The Bangko Sentral launched the BDA in 2018 in response to the need for a low-cost, easy-to-open account among the low-income population. With an initial deposit of P100, no minimum maintenance amount or inactivity fees, and minimal identification requirements, BDA account ownership has grown, allowing more Filipinos to become financially included.

 

Data from the fourth quarter of 2020 showed that 133 banks in the country offer BDAs. The total number of BDA depositors has surpassed 6.595 million, with a total deposit balance of P4.7 billion.

BY MEYNARD DELA CERNA

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