MANILA – The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Thursday said it is test-deploying satellite internet services for 2 rural banks in cooperation with the Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) and Department of Science and Technology-Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI).

The BSP said the effort is 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 central bank said.

The rural banks are located in parts of Batangas City, where internet connectivity remains a challenge.

“The test deployment aims to evaluate the performance and reliability of satellite internet services under local weather conditions,” the BSP said.

The BSP had earlier said it supports former President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to expand access to satellite systems to boost internet access and connectivity, especially in rural communities.

“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 Medalla.