The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said it has launched a program to strengthen the rural banking sector to make the sector more resilient and responsive to the needs of their host communities.
PASB said an interagency working group will lead the program, led by Bruce J. Tolentino, member of the Monetary Board (MB), as well as officials from the agriculture and trade departments.
“The (program) is part of BSP’s broader and ongoing efforts to strengthen the resilience of the rural banking sector, which is a key agent of rural development as it provides financial services to rural communities, including micro, small and medium-sized companies, “BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno said in a statement Friday.
A technical working group, chaired by the deputy governor of the financial supervision sector of the PASB, Chuchi G. Fonacier, will also help the steering committee to create the action plan and the capacity building program for rural banks.
“These strengthening efforts will benefit the agricultural sector and micro, small and medium enterprises in rural areas which are the main clients of rural banks,” Ms. Fonacier said.
She said the group will explore initiatives that will improve the operations, capacity and competitiveness of rural banks.
“MB and BSP have increasingly focused on ways to make the financial system more inclusive and conducive to rural and agricultural growth. Rural banks have an important role to play in this effort, ”said Tolentino.
The two groups are tasked with submitting a first batch of policy, program and reform proposals to the Monetary Council towards the end of the year. – Beatrice M. Laforga