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From cash to digital wage payments: A win-win for enterprises and women workers in the Philippines

The ILO and Women's World Banking, along with the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade hosted a webinar on digital wage payments given its potential to empower workers, particularly women workers, by increasing their control over their wages and improving their access to financial services. Such transition can enhance efficiency and transparency of payroll systems, hence boosting the performances of enterprises.

More than 46 million people in the Philippines are still unable to participate in the formal financial system. This makes it extremely difficult for them to build their assets, provide for their children’s education, invest in a business and manage risks in their daily lives such as illness or loss of employment.


Digital wage payments have the potential to empower workers by increasing their control over their wages and improving their access to financial services such as savings, credit and insurance, leading to additional economic opportunities and greater resilience to economic shocks. The transition to digital wage payments has also the potential to enhance the efficiency and transparency of payroll systems, hence boosting performances of the enterprises.

However in the Philippines, only 6.9 per cent of private sector wage earners in the country reported receiving their wage payments into an account at a bank, another type of financial institution or on a mobile money service in 2017.

With the support of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and Women’s World Banking undertook a study on the awareness, use and acceptance for digital wage payments among employers and workers engaged in the electronics, garment and retail sectors in the Philippines.

Findings of this joint study on digital wage payments in the Philippines were presented during a webinar held on 9 March 2021. The webinar provided opportunities for participants to learn about:
  • Strategies and initiatives of the Government of the Philippines to promote an inclusive digital payments ecosystem
  • Awareness, use and acceptance for digital wage payments among employers and women workers
  • Challenges and recommendations to facilitate the transition to responsible digital wage payments

Speakers and presentations

Opening address by Mr Khalid Hassan, Director of the ILO Country Office for the Philippines

Presentations and discussions: Ms Valerie Breda, Technical Expert, ILO Social Finance Programme moderated the webinar, including online polls, presentations and discussions.

Watch the recording

Watch the full recording of the webinar.

For further information please contact:

Ms Ma. Concepcion Sardaña
Senior Programme Officer
Email

Mr Hideki Kagohashi
Enterprise Development Specialist
Email

Ms Valerie Breda
Technical Expert, Social Finance Programme, Enterprises Department
Email

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Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas presentation at the "From cash to digital wage payments" webinar
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Online polls, presentations and discussions at the "From cash to digital wage payments" webinar

Full video recording of the "From cash to digital wage payments: A win-win for enterprises and women workers in the Philippines" webinar
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Full video recording of the "From cash to digital wage payments: A win-win for enterprises and women workers in the Philippines" webinar

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From cash to digital wage payments in the Philippines: Win-win for enterprises and women employees
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