MANILA— Over P6.8 billion in cash aid for 983,505 beneficiaries has been distributed through pawnshops as of end-December 2020, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said Wednesday.
Pawnshops played a key role in "inclusive finance" due to their extensive network in the country that provides access for low-income individuals, businesses and cash aid beneficiaries, the BSP said in a statement.
“With presence in 82 percent of the country’s local government units, pawnshops serve as cash-out agents for banks and EMIs (e-money issuers) in distributing government financial assistance during the pandemic,” said BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno.
Pawnbroking in the country has a footprint in 1,348 cities and municipalities nationwide, the BSP said in a statement.
Total head offices and branches reached 14,641 in 2020, 5 percent up compared to the previous year. The total also surpassed the combined 13,044-strong network of universal, commercial, thrift, rural and cooperative banks by the end of December last year, the BSP said.
Pawnshops served as a source of immediate cash to borrowers who have assets that serve as collateral.
Economic managers have also called for the digitalization of cash aid distribution, with the use of the national ID, to hasten disbursement and to avoid corruption.
In 2020, the Philippines initiated a country-wide distribution of social ameloriation funds due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns on marginalized Filipinos.
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