Credit Information Corporation (CIC) has formally opened its credit information system for beta testing to the financial institutions that have fully complied with CIC’s mandate of submitting the basic credit information of its members/borrowers.

In an event held at the Dusit Thani Hotel in Makati City last April 28, CIC awarded certificates of access to institutions from the banking, cooperative, leasing and finance sectors, including government-owned and –controlled corporations that represent a significant portion of the Philippine financial ecosystem.
Governor Amando Tetangco of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas sent congratulatory remarks through video, while heads of banks and other financial institutions qualified to access the CIC database graced the event as a show of support to CIC’s credit information system.

However, the spotlight was certainly on former Philippine Senator Edgardo J. Angara, one of the major proponents of Republic Act No. 9510, more popularly known as the Credit Information System Act and the law that led to CIC’s creation. Former Senator Angara was the key speaker of the event.
CIC also invited two globally-renowned experts in the field of credit information, reporting and scoring, Peter Sheerin of the Business Information Industry Association (BIIA) and Chet Wiermanski, Adjunct Fellow of PERC Results and Solutions (PERC).

Beginning May 8, 2017, CIC-compliant financial institutions will have partial access to CIC’s credit information system during the beta testing phase. During this time, these institutions will already be able to use the data that will be generated by the system for their own internal modelling and risk development systems. However, as the CIC will be implementing strong Data Quality programs designed to improve the contents of the credit report, the general rule will be that accessing entities must not yet use the data for assessing loans for risk.

In line with the improvement of data quality, the CIC will begin its “Getting Ready for Credit” campaign. Included in this campaign are activities designed to encourage individuals to update their credit records with their respective lenders, begin discussions with lenders to resolve credit issues, and start building data footprints to expand the coverage of CIC’s database and to strengthen the integrity of CIC’s credit information.
For financial institutions whose deadlines have passed and are still not compliant, they are encouraged to make greater efforts to comply with CIC’s mandate and submit the basic credit data of their members and borrowers to avoid possible sanctions.

Once fully operational, the CIC’s credit information system is expected to have a significant impact on the lives of all Filipinos, especially the unbanked and underbanked. CIC’s credit information is seen to give these groups access to more credit at lower interest rates and better credit terms, simply on the strength of their creditworthiness as reflected in their credit history. CIC’s credit information system is also seen to give the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) more lending opportunities. MSMEs comprise 99.6% of all businesses in the Philippines and contribute make up about 60% of the country’s economy and employment.

Both potential borrowers and lenders, including the general public, will be able to officially access CIC’s credit information system by January 2018. By this time, credit reports based on CIC’s credit information system, can be officially used for loan evaluation.