Category : Press Release
Date : September 09, 2020
Agency : Department of Finance
Title : Dominguez lauds BSP, BIR on Digital PERA launch
Article : Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III has lauded the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) for launching a safe and seamless online marketplace for the various investment and retirement savings products of the Personal Equity and Retirement Account (PERA), in keeping with President Duterte’s goal of broadening financial inclusion among Filipinos.

With the Sept. 8 launching of this digital platform where investors can browse various PERA products, more and more Filipinos will have easy access to affordable retirement savings options at their fingertips at any time and anywhere in the world, Dominguez said.

Dominguez said the Digital PERA platform will especially benefit overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), who now have the opportunity to make the most of their hard-earned pay by saving a portion of it through the various PERA products available, until such time when they decide to retire and return home to their loved ones.

“Initiatives such as the digital PERA is the least this government can do for the heroic Filipinos working overseas and helping support our economy,” said Dominguez in his videotaped message during this morning’s launching of the Digital PERA platform.

“I congratulate the teams from BSP and the BIR that made this important digital initiative a reality. This is a major step towards the broadening of financial inclusion by enabling a convenient, safe, and seamless medium for both investment and retirement savings for the Filipino people,” Dominguez said.

He also thanked the Trust Officers Association of the Philippines (TOAP) for supporting the Digital PERA and for helping build public awareness about the project.

Dominguez said Digital PERA will enable many Filipinos to get acquainted with financial products and eventually develop financial literacy, while producing a new source of capital to power the nation’s growth.

“It will help deepen the country’s local debt market, as it would convert savings into investable funds that can be tapped by Philippine companies,” he said.

Created under Republic Act (RA) No. 9505, the PERA is a voluntary retirement account that aims to promote capital market development and financial security for Filipinos here and abroad.

The PERA Law was enacted in 2008, but its implementation was delayed because of taxation and regulatory issues.

It was under the Duterte administration when these issues were resolved, so that “this powerful investment instrument” can “flourish and finally benefit the Filipino people,” Dominguez said.

Done in partnership with the TOAP, the Digital PERA is a one-stop shop where investors can open, access and monitor their PERA accounts, and settle transactions via InstaPay or PESONet through online banking.

Dominguez said that with the successful launching of Digital PERA, the government should encourage life insurance and pre-need companies to also take on an active role in promoting savings mobilization through PERA.

“We will certainly need a massive public information campaign about the benefits of building a personal retirement fund—so the Filipino people can take full control of their future through personal financial management,” he said.

Dominguez encouraged young Filipinos “priming to enjoy their retirement in style” to likewise invest in PERA through the means that they are most familiar with—a digital platform available on their smartphones 24/7.

On top of widening access to PERA products, the leap to digital transactions will also reduce processing time and lower transaction costs for millions of potential PERA investors.

“The Department of Finance (DOF) has always advocated for the adoption of new financial technologies or Fintech to reduce transaction costs and to improve revenue monitoring across the board,” Dominguez said.

“Through the current pandemic that we are experiencing, the importance of this transition to digital transactions has been magnified. The digital PERA is a historic step not only into the New Normal, but also into the New Economy,” he noted.