My Reaction To CNN Philippines Reveals 69% of Filipinos Have NO Bank Account!

CNN Philippines has revealed the sad fact that a whopping 69% (or possibly higher) of Filipinos have no bank account based on a 2014 study by the World Bank.  Maybe Bloomberg is right about the Philippine economy improving for now, but we cannot ignore the fact that this study by the world back is bad for the country.

Now I would like to think about the following facts shared by the World Bank which does not call to shout for "Pinoy Pride":

1.) Only three out of ten Filipino adults possess bank accounts and 35% of the three out of then are women.

2.) The situation is far worse among the poorest 40% of Filipino households.  Only about two out of every ten adults in that group have bank accounts.

3.) The Philippines is also among the few countries where more than 10% of adults seek loans from private informal lenders.

When I started looking at that information, I started to think of the reality.  A person's poverty is not always the government's fault.  The fact that there are lots of poor people may not be the best evidence against President Nobita's incompetence compared to his lack of accountability and not allocating money to fix public utilities like the MRT, public roads and flooding problems.  Then again, you have to know very poor people also exist in more developed countries like China, Singapore, Taiwan and Japan too.  So why do poor people exist?  Even where decent leadership happens, a person must still be the one to take care of his/her needs.

When you think of it, having a bank account means having the the following benefits to the depositor and also society:

1.) A bank account is for one's own safety.  It safeguards the money.  In my case, I first opened a savings account to guard my money then I started to open other investments.  If you keep your savings under your bed, behind a painting, etc. they are not insured and are more susceptible to theft.  The bank offers at least PHP 500,000.00 worth of insurance.  

2.) Having a bank account and investing in a bank may sooner or later make you eligible for getting secure legitimate loans in contrast to loan sharks.  The banks would as much as possible check a person's credit standing before they give you a loan.  Just a warning... if you can't pay the bank, they have the right to seize any property you have to make up for their losses.

3.) When you invest in the bank, remember you earn interest.  Why is there interest?  The bank uses your money, which is loaned to others.  When they loan the money to others, they are using your money so they are obliged to pay interest.  That's why even savings account requires some interest.  Then because UITF and treasury bills involve the money market (dividend income and government using your money), then the interest gets bigger.
4.) Depositing money in the bank provides a cash cycle for other people to use for the practice of loaning.  Meanwhile investing in UITF provides dividend incomes and treasury bills provide loans in the money market as a short-term obligation, where payment is given to one's saving account, at the same time it revolves around the money market.  

My perceived possible reasons why most Filipinos may not have a bank account, feel free to tell me where I'm wrong:

1.) Banking requires a minimum of PHP 10,000.00 for a savings account.  Again, the keyword is SAVINGS.  Savings is a very foreign concept for most Filipinos right?  They tend to spend a lot of the money they get (ex. salaries, gross profits) causing them to remain stagnant or go from bad to worse.  Even worse, I would believe that a huge portion of the 69% are also OFWs (I need an exact figure though).
2.) Plain laziness might be the keyword to understand.  Laziness can be a keyword as opening a bank account requires some processes.  While I wouldn't go to Landbank and I prefer a private bank (I am currently a Metrobank patron while I may pursue a BDO or Chinabank account for other stuff), I still cannot deny it requires me to pass important stuff like my TIN, birth certificate and some important details - all required for the protection of the client.
3.) When the issue of more than 10% of Filipino adults choose loans from private informal lenders, I am starting to develop what could be the reason behind it.  My speculation can rise is that because informal lenders can be considered as "easy loans" and that they may have discovered the fact that banks have requirements and penalties.  Well, FLIFPAGs don't like to follow rules right?  Then of course, these loans become a bigger source of trouble because they are most likely not going to pay back the money they owe the other person.
4.) You might as well consider that some are ultranationalist FLIPFAGs and they don't want their money to be mingled with foreigners because banks are obligated by law to allow foreigners to open accounts (even if the Philippines has that stupid protectionist policy).  I may be wrong but I think that's another stupid reason why many Filipinos don't have a bank account.

Looking at the study, it may conclude that while the government has to run the country properly, getting out of poverty is mostly your responsibility.


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