By Bianca Cuaresma, January 24, 2022; Business Mirror

State-owned Land Bank of the Philippines reported that it has onboarded 7.2 million unbanked Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) registrants end-2021 as a result of its collaboration with the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

The bank said in a statement on Monday that the new bank registrants is a result of their co-location strategy with the PSA at registration sites nationwide for the PhilSys Project, where qualified unbanked registrants are provided with their own transaction accounts free-of-charge and with no initial deposit requirement.

The bank also reaffirmed its support to the National Government’s target of providing at least one bank account for every Filipino household equivalent to 13.5 million accounts throughout the whole co-location partnership with the PSA.

“We have so far made significant headway in bringing unbanked PhilSys registrants into the formal banking system, as we continue our strategic and fruitful partnership with the PSA,” Landbank President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo said.

Breaking down the 7.2 million onboarded national ID registrants nationwide, 1.6 million are from Central Luzon, 1.4 million from Eastern Mindanao, 1.2 million from Eastern Visayas and 1.1 million from Western Visayas.

The bank also said the carded PhilSys registrants have already utilized their Landbank prepaid cards for various transactions amounting to P86.1 million. These include loading cash into their accounts, withdrawals at Automated Teller Machines, and making payments via point-of-sale terminals and online, among others.

Meanwhile, the state-run bank clarified anew that its prepaid cards being issued to unbanked national ID registrants are not pre-loaded with government subsidy or ‘ayuda’, in response to fake news circulating in social media.