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Philippines News Agency

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The Philippines News Agency

The Philippines News Agency (PNA) is a web-based newswire service of the Philippine government. The PNA Headquarters are housed at the 2nd floor of the PIA building along Visayas Avenue, Quezon City. PNA's website address is http://www.pna.gov.ph

It has been 35 years since PNA was launched in an era when newswire operations relied mainly on teletype machines and typewriters. PNA has steadily paced the highly competitive and changing arena of Philippine journalism; it is now slowly but surely coming to par with the challenges posed by the globalization of media communications. This has deeply shaped modern journalism and the news media organizations that have been instrumental in creating the very conditions that made globalization a reality.

PNA has evolved today as an Internet-based news service agency that caters to the global demand for news and information to its subscribers, readers and a host of other clients. PNA's mission is spelled out clearly: to provide the government, the Presidency, the public, as well as its media and non-media clients, both local and foreign based, sober, factual, impartial and objective news and information. PNA provides news 24/7, including photos of major events, feature stories, sports news and events, local and global opinions, general information, as well as global news and feature stories. PNA employs about a hundred journalists and stringers across the country, with several foreign-based correspondents.

PNA beat reporters and stringers are deployed practically in every government office and agency, including the main offices and camps of police and security forces, to provide news 24/7 for local, regional and global subscribers and readers. PNA likewise maintains active news exchanges with news agencies of ASEAN member-countries and the Organization of Asia-Pacific News Agencies (OANA).

Philippines News Agency
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Automatic Weather System (AWS) in Gerona, Tarlac  . (PNA)

Automatic Weather System (AWS) in Gerona, Tarlac . (PNA)

(Business Feature) E-money and the PHL's unbanked LGUs

MANILA, (PNA) -- Technological innovation has benefitted people such as those living in far-flung areas not yet reached by the formal banking sector.

Central bank data show that as of end-2013, the number of municipalities that remained unbanked was still high despite falling to 604 from 611 in end-2012.

In 2009, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) came out with the rules and regulations on electronic money or e-money.

The following year, 21 EMIs registered and were allowed to offer e-money services such as fund transfer.

But in 2013, the number of EMIs grew by 52 percent to 32 with active agents reaching about 10,620.

Central bank data show that the number of registered e-money accounts rose by 34 percent to 26.7 million in end-2013 from end-2010’s 19.9 million.

Of the total, eight million are composed of mobile wallets and 18.7 million as cash cards.

Relatedly, transactions went up by 57 percent during the said period from 138 million in 2010 to 217 million in end-2013.

Total amount of e-money transactions reached Php 348 billion in 2013 from Php 220.5 billion in 2010.

BSP data show that about 965 local government units (LGUs) have at least one e-money cash-in and cash-out point.

It also disclosed that of the 604 unbanked LGUs, 220 or 36 percent have access to e-money agents with “the provinces of Leyte, Northern Samar and Eastern Samar having the largest number of unbanked LGUs with access to e-money agents.

E-money services include those being offered by the telecommunications companies like Globe Telecom’s G-Cash and Smart Telecommunication’s Smart Money, which enable people to send and receive money without having a bank-issued automated teller machine (ATM) card.

The BSP said this innovation enables banks, among others, to expand their reach and cater to more people using mobile phones.

The Philippines won’t be known as the text capital of the world if not for the large number of people with mobile phones.

The BSP said mobile phone penetration in the country is very high as there are now about 49 million subscribers.

”Thus, e-money and mobile banking offers the potential of increasing access to finance especially to those who are living in remote and hard-to-reach areas where distance to banks and other access points appear as an immediate challenge,” it said.

“It took more than 160 years before the number of banks reached 9,884, yet it only took four years before the number of e-money agents reached 10,620. This suggests that e-money agents grow 44 times faster than banking offices,” it added. (PNA)