The Philippines and Singapore have signed an agreement that aims to support the financial education and digitization of Filipino SMEs.
The memorandum of understanding was signed by Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) chief fintech officer Sopnendu Mohanty and Department of Trade and Industry-Philippines Trade Training Center executive director Nelly Dillera during a virtual forum organised by Digital Pilipinas, in partnership with LOCAD and Outseer.
Mohanty said SMEs play a key role in most economies but access to finance continues to be a constraint for growth.
“Most SMEs continue to be underserved. They struggle to get loans from the bank, they mostly rely on internal cash flows and borrowing from friends and family. There are a lot of financial constraints and that kind of limits their growth. What we want to do as part of this journey is to find a path for SMEs so that we focus on helping them to take their ideas and find a way for them to be a bigger enterprise in the future,” he said.
Mohanty said MAS is now working with the Philippine government and the private sector to offer an international SME program that allows SMEs to go through a certification process both on the foundational knowledge and global financial certificate to give them an advanced understanding of how to access financial services and digital technology.
“With this open program, we will provide a wider range of skills to people whom we can target through this literacy program, hence, allow them to understand the power of digital tools, and understand the power of financial education and they will be able to make use of this knowledge for their growth,” he said.
Mohanty said Filipino SMEs can also get access to financial services, new tools and new customers.
MAS earlier launched Proxtera, which allows SMEs to leverage on modern technology to improve accessibility, availability and affordability of innovative digital services.