Poe panel ready to probe plan to increase ATM fees
MANILA, Philippines — The Senate Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions and Currencies, chaired by Senator Grace Poe is ready to probe the plan to increase fees for automated teller machines (ATM) which she said would be “disadvantageous” to Filipinos.
Poe has filed Senate Resolution No. 96, seeking an inquiry on the looming increase in ATM fees. A separate investigation on the issue is also being pushed in the House of Representatives.
Reports of a possible ATM fee hike came after Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) lifted the moratorium which was put in place since 2013 after a public outcry against expensive fees.
But Poe said the increase in bank charge is “disadvantageous to an estimated 4.1 million minimum-wage earners who would need to carry the burden of these fees as many of them receive their salaries through ATM cards and withdraw from these machines at least twice a month.”
She also questioned why the customers must shoulder the cost of banks’ services.
“Maliit na nga ang interes sa savings, pero ang laki naman ng kaltas mula sa balance inquiry hanggang sa withdrawal,” Poe said in a statement on Thursday
“Kung tutuusin, para tayong nagpapahiram ng pera sa bangko kapag itinatabi natin ito sa ATM. Kung nagwi-withdraw tayo, kinukuha lang natin kung ano ang atin. Bakit ang laki ng kaltas sa bawat transaction, tapos may hiling pang dagdag ngayon?” she added.
Makati Rep. Luis Campos Jr. previously said ATM fees could increase at least 50 percent based on rates banks had proposed to charge before the moratorium took effect. This may cause interbank withdrawals to cost P30 per transaction from the current P10 to P15.
Campos has also pushed a House inquiry on the looming increase in ATM fees. /muf