The Postal System and Postal Bank: Partners in Financial Inclusion
Mr. Cesar Sarino, President and CEO of Philippine Postal Savings Bank (PostalBank), Ms. Ma. Josefina “Josie” Dela Cruz, Postmaster General and CEO of Philippine Postal Corporation PhilPost), members of the Board of Directors of both institutions, esteemed guests, ladies and gentlemen, good morning.
I am pleased to join you today to witness the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) strengthening the collaboration between PostalBank and Philpost for the possible use of our country’s postal offices as access points to the financial services of PostalBank. Given the presence of Philpost in every municipality in the country, this concept is indeed one that has a significant potential in being able to massively expand access to financial services in the country.
This is indeed the most opportune time for such undertaking. The Consumer Finance Survey conducted by the BSP which was recently published showed that 8 out of 10 Filipinos do not have a savings acount. Data will also show that 40% of our country’s deposit accounts (and 60% of the value) are in the NCR alone.
Geographically, weknow that 37% of the country’s municipalities have no banking office. We therefore welcome initiatives that hold the promise of addressing this problem. We are tantalized by the potential transformation of the Philippine financial landscape should the post offices across the country become effective access points where Filipinos can carry-out simple and suitable financial transactions especially in the areas unreached and under-served by banks.
We are therefore glad that PostalBank and PhilPost share the same vision.The MOA that you have signed today is evidence of your aspiration to leverage on eachothers’ resources and capacities, and define workable steps in order to jumpstart the processof making this vision a reality. Statistics show that over 70 percent of countries around the world are using postal offices to deliver financial services. However, experts are of the view that, so far, very few countries have been successful in expanding access to financial services through this channel.
Many of these countries have fallen prey to operational inefficiencies and difficulties . I am telling you thissimply to drive the point that while pursuing financial inclusion through the postal infrastructurehas great potential, the road ahead will not be easy. I am also citing this to challenge you to prove to the experts that yours will be a business model that works.