Financial Inclusion, Education, and Regulation in the Philippines
Establishing financially inclusive ecosystems for low – income clients, including small and medium enterprises, has become a rising global concern. The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor and the World Bank estimate that around 2.7 billion adults worldwide do not have access to credit, insurance, or savings with a bank or other formal institution . Several studies have argued that financial inclusion empowers the poor to manage their finances and reduce their vulnerability to financial distress, debt, and poverty. The key issues are why formal financial systems are not inclusive, and how they can be made inclusive of the poor. In the Philippines, the government has identified financial inclusion as an important strategy for inclusive growth. This paper discusses the current status of financial inclusion, education, and regulation in the Philippines and measures to foster financial inclusion. The primary policy challenge faced by the government is defining its role in creating the broad and interconnected ecosystems needed for safe and efficient product delivery to the poor.