MANILA -- The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has highlighted the importance of empowering Persons with Disability (PWDs) through digital financial inclusion during the recent webinar1 marking the 43rd National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week.
“The BSP lauds the National Council on Disability Affairs and other stakeholders for upholding the rights of the PWD sector. Rest assured the BSP is committed to continuously engage the sector and better respond to the needs of PWDs,” said BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno.
“Empowering vulnerable sectors has always been an underlying objective of the BSP’s efforts. For this reason, we are stepping up our financial inclusion efforts to ensure financial services are within easy reach for all Filipinos, including PWDs,” added the Governor.
In relation to this, the BSP has also issued a memorandum to all BSP-supervised financial institutions (BSFIs) to remind them to refrain from discriminatory practices toward Persons with Disability (PWD). This is to ensure that their rights as PWDs to participate fully in the social life and enjoyment of opportunities available to other citizens are upheld at all times.
The memorandum sternly reminds BSFIs to adhere to laws and regulations against discriminatory practices toward PWDs, including but not limited to, non-acceptance of government-issued PWD identification cards for the opening of accounts and other financial transactions; turning away visually impaired persons from opening bank accounts; and requiring the visually impaired customers to open only joint (“and/or”) accounts.
Apart from putting in place mobility ramps and the Braille system in bank premises and automated teller machines, BSFIs are also reminded to provide express lanes for PWDs similar to those reserved for senior citizens and pregnant women within their premises.
To further support the welfare of PWDs, the BSP introduced enhanced tactile marks in Philippine banknotes to aid the elderly and the visually impaired in identifying denominations in July 2020.
Furthermore, the BSP is now exploring the addition of braille functionality to Philippine banknotes, which aims to benefit as many as 2.5 million visually impaired Filipinos. (BSP)
1 The webinar is part of a series of activities celebrating the 43rd National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation (NDPR) Week. The theme for this year is “Kalusugan at Kaunlaran ng Pilipinong May Kapansanan Isulong sa Gitna ng Pandemya.”