Other Government Release

National Economic and Development Authority

NEDA, UNSGSA Collaborate to Advance Inclusive Finance in PH

MANILA – National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan and Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, in her role as the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA), have engaged in a strategic dialogue to amplify inclusive finance innovations that tackle financial inclusion challenges in the Philippines.

Balisacan extended a warm welcome to UNSGSA Queen Máxima on Wednesday (May 22) in Pasay City. The meeting focused on key issues such as identity authentication, enhancements to digital payment schemes, and developments in the Philippines’ preliminary efforts in open finance.

“We are honored to welcome UNSGSA Queen Máxima to the Philippines. This is indeed a great opportunity to reflect upon and discuss our country’s achievements in inclusive financing, identify challenges, devise solutions, and plan further improvements to our financial inclusion initiatives,” Balisacan said.

Open finance, a concept that involves the sharing of customer-authorized data among financial institutions and third-party providers, aims to foster innovative financial solutions. It empowers customers to access their data and reduces information asymmetry between financial service providers (FSPs) and customers, as well as among different types of FSPs. It is designed with a strong emphasis on user privacy, secure data handling, and inclusivity.

Open finance aligns with the country’s goals outlined in the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2023-2028, which seeks to catalyze economic and social transformation by promoting fiscal sustainability and laying the foundation for innovation and digitalization.

According to the Philippine Development Report 2023, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), in collaboration with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), has successfully developed a Credit Risk Database Scoring Model. This model is expected to boost lenders’ confidence in financing the country’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). In 2023, the BSP also initiated the PH Open Finance Pilot to develop technical and operational standards for an open finance ecosystem in the Philippines.

UNSGSA Queen Máxima is a leading global voice on advancing access and usage of affordable, effective, and responsible financial services that lead to positive outcomes in people’s lives. She collaborates with public and private sectors globally to raise awareness on financial inclusion and supports country leaders in identifying inclusive finance solutions and innovative business models to improve their economies and unlock development opportunities.

Queen Máxima was appointed as the UNSGSA by former Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. She is also a trained economist who previously worked in international finance and emerging markets.

The meeting was attended by NEDA Undersecretary Krystal Lyn T. Uy, Philippine Statistics Authority Undersecretary Claire Dennis S. Mapa, Development Academy of the Philippines President Majah-Leah Ravago, Philippine Institute for Development Studies President Aniceto C. Orbeta Jr., and NEDA Directors Frances Fatima M. Cabana and Generose B. Manlangit.

Queen Máxima was accompanied by representatives from the Office of the UNSGSA, the UN Resident Coordinator in the Philippines, the Netherlands Embassy, the Royal House, the World Bank, the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor, the Better Than Cash Alliance, and the Alliance for Financial Inclusion.