BSP identifies legislative priorities for the 19th Congress

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has outlined its legislative agenda for the 19th Congress to further promote the stability and ensure soundness of the Philippine banking and payment systems.

The BSP supports reforms espoused under the Bank Deposits Secrecy Bill, the proposed Financial Accounts Regulation Act (FARA), SIM Card Registration Bill, and the Digital Payments Bill.

The Bank Deposits Secrecy Bill is the BSP’s priority legislative measure in the 19th Congress. Proposed amendments to the Bank Deposits Secrecy law aim to strengthen the banking system’s capacity to effectively combat tax evasion, money laundering, and other financial crimes. In the 18th Congress, the BSP supported the passage of House Bill No. 8991, which sought to allow for a thorough examination of bank accounts with suspicious transactions.

The proposed FARA, meanwhile, aims to strengthen consumer protection and impose higher penalties for financial cybercrimes. The proposed law seeks to regulate the use of bank accounts and e-wallets, and prevent their use for criminal activities.

The BSP also supports the SIM Card Registration Bill which intends to deter the proliferation of SIM card-aided crimes, such as bank fraud and text scams.

Finally, as a long-standing advocate for the digitalization of financial transactions and financial inclusion, the BSP pushes for the passage of the Digital Payments Bill, which fosters the adoption of safe, affordable, and efficient digital payments in financial transactions with the government.

In the 18th Congress, BSP’s support led to the passage of legislative measures aimed to intensify consumer protection and enhance the delivery of and access to financial products and services. These measures include the Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development Financing Enhancement Act of 2022, the Financial Products and Services Consumer Protection Act, amendments to the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation charter, and the Financial Institutions Strategic Transfer Act.

In the same manner, “the BSP will work with the 19th Congress on the passage of priority bills that are expected to boost public trust and confidence in the country’s financial and payment systems,” said BSP Governor Felipe M. Medalla.