BSP chief asks Congress to ease bank secrecy law
MANILA, Philippines—The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has asked Congress to ease the country’s restrictive bank secrecy laws to safeguard the Philippine economy and weed out corruption.
“It’s an anti-corruption device. That’s very important,” Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno Thursday an interview over ABS-CBN News Channel.
The Bank Secrecy Act, passed in 1955, covers “all deposits of whatever nature with banks or banking institutions in the Philippines.”
Diokno, a former Budget Secretary, also acknowledged that there will be some “resistance” in amending the law but suggested to provide a “transition period” to clear up transactions.
“Maybe some people will resist this. I think you have to provide them maybe some leeway, you give them three years to clear up everything not immediately because it takes a while. So you have to pass it now and give maybe a transition of three years,” he said.
Diokno earlier claimed it will be presented as part of priority reforms to the incoming Congress to “further promote access to quality financial products and espouse the interests of the general public.”
In the Senate, Sen. Panfilo Lacson earlier filed a bill seeking to strip government officials and employees of the bank secrecy protection.
The proposed measure amends the Bank Secrecy Law to exempt protection for “all depositors who are elective or appointive officials or employees of the government, from the President to the lowest-ranking employee.” Also covered by the bill are members of the uniformed services and government-owned and controlled corporations. (Editor: Mike U. Frialde)
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