The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is pushing for additional legislation to enable the economy to weather the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
BSP urges lawmakers to pass key economic measures
EAGER TO tow the country back to its pre-pandemic economic status, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is urging Congress to fast track four key measures that will enable the Philippine economy to recover from the effects of the COVID-19.
In a recent briefing, BSP governor Benjamin Diokno said lawmakers must prioritize four key bills that would improve consumer protection, ease bank secrecy laws, boost lending to the agricultural sector and provide financial support to troubled companies.
“The Financial Consumer Protection Bill sets a clear legal mandate and a comprehensive financial consumer protection framework,” Diokno said.
Meanwhile, the Bank Secrecy Bill will give authority to the monetary regulator to look into bank deposit information under specific circumstances. Its proponents hope it will allow the BSP to more effectively fulfill its mandate and have a more “holistic” bank examination.
The Agri-Agra Bill, for its part, will strengthen rural development by providing a comprehensive approach that considers the broader agricultural financing ecosystem and community requirements.
“It addresses the challenges faced by the agricultural sector in obtaining access to financing,” Diokno said.
Finally, the GUIDE—or Government Financial Institutions Unified Initiatives to Distressed Enterprises for Economic Recovery—bill seeks to boost the capacity of Land Bank of the Philippines and Development Bank of the Philippines to provide access to credit and financial assistance to distressed enterprises.
“These include micro, small, and medium enterprises and strategically important companies severely affected by the pandemic,” Diokno said,
adding that the central bank was looking forward to further engaging both houses of Congress for the passage of these bills.
This came as President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law the Financial Institutions Strategic Transfer (FIST) Act in a bid to keep the financial sector stable amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The new law allows banks and financial institutions to outsource the management of their non-performing assets (NPAs) and non-performing loans (NPLs) to asset management firms that are similar to special purpose vehicles (SPV). (ONT)