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Pandemic offers way to solve development woes in region–Neda

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ASIA and the Pacific countries can recover from the pandemic through collective effort, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda).

In his speech at the 2021 Structural Reform Ministerial Meeting session of the APEC, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua said like many countries in the region, the Philippines is using the pandemic as a unique opportunity to address its development constraints.

These development constraints, the Neda Director General said, include institutional weaknesses that prevent the efficient delivery of services such as social protection and lack of financial inclusion.

“Our story is a collective effort to turn this crisis into an opportunity to correct long-standing constraints that have hindered our economies from achieving more inclusive growth,” Chua said.

“Our collective effort to share our experiences and learn from each other today will help pave the way for a stronger recovery and a more resilient region,” he added.

Financial inclusion

The pandemic, Chua said, allowed the country to address these challenges through the National ID system. He said as of April 2021, over 36 million Filipinos have registered for a PhilSys ID.

Further, a total of 3.7 million households have also registered for a LandBank account. This means these households now have the opportunity to access social protection such as financial assistance from the government.

“Our goal is to register at least 50 million individuals and achieve 100 percent financial inclusion at the family level by the end of 2021,” Chua said.

“The Philippines’s story is not unique as many economies in the region have faced similar challenges and did their own reforms to prepare for shocks or address this present crisis,” he added.

On Wednesday, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said it has expanded Registration Centers for Step 2 of the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys).

PSA said another 219 registration centers across 21 provinces are now open for online appointment for Step 2 Registration. Previously, there were only 16 registration centers in 13 provinces.

Online registrants who reside in select cities and municipalities may now register at PhilSys registration centers in Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan, Isabela, Bataan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, Zambales, Quezon and Albay.

Registrants in Camarines Sur, Masbate, Antique, Capiz, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Bohol, Cebu, Negros Oriental, and Leyte may also register for the National ID’s Step 2.

Step 2 Registration involves the capture of biometric information and validation of demographic data. The online Step 1 Registration for additional registration centers offer June 18, 2021 as the earliest date for an appointment.

Online booking of appointments is part of PSA’s strategy to ensure that a manageable number of registrants visit a registration center at any time during operating hours, in compliance with health and safety standards of the Department of Health (DOH) and the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF). PSA strongly advises the registrants to follow their chosen schedule to avoid problems with their registration.

Read full article on BusinessMirror

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