The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA), and Department of Science and Technology-Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI) are test deploying satellite internet services for two rural banks as part of the government’s broader efforts to promote access to financial services in remote areas.
BSP, PhilSA, and DOST-ASTI recently kicked off the test deployment of satellite internet service provider iOne Resources Inc. at the Progressive Bank of Malvar and Rural Bank of Cuenca. The test deployment aims to evaluate the performance and reliability of satellite internet services under local weather conditions.
The two rural banks are located in “Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas” or GIDA in Batangas City, where internet connectivity remains a challenge due to the limitations of existing network and telecommunication facilities.
“We believe in the capability of satellite technology to enhance connectivity in rural areas, thereby expanding the capacity of banks to provide digital financial services and promote greater financial inclusion in unserved and underserved areas,” said BSP Governor Felipe M. Medalla.
Out of 1,634 municipalities in the country, 33 percent or 533 municipalities still do not have bank branches operating within their areas.
The BSP had earlier expressed its support for Executive Order No. 127, signed by former President Rodrigo Duterte on March 10, 2021, which aims to expand access to satellite systems to boost internet access and connectivity, especially in rural communities.