BSP seeks capital boost, forex fund, tax exemption
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas is seeking amendments to its charter that will include raising its capital, tax exemptions, and allowing it to put up a foreign exchange reserve fund, BSP Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo said.
“We are quite confident that both houses of Congress, Senate and the House of Representatives, will be open to this proposed amendments to the BSP Charter,” Guinigundo told reporters following an organizational meeting at the House of Representatives Tuesday.
The BSP is seeking to increase its capital four times to P200 billion pesos, Guinigundo said. This will form part of the proposed changes to Republic Act 7653, or the central bank’s charter.
“There’s a need for the central bank to be assured of corporate viability. So that goes into the heart of the issue of providing more capital from P50 billion to P150 billion,” Guinigundo said.
The BSP is also asking for exemption from paying taxes, a privilege enjoyed by other government agencies, he said.
Another measure under the proposed amendment is to allow the BSP to put up a foreign exchange reserve fund to cover its losses from open market operations.
The fund will allow the BSP to use its gains from foreign exchange fluctuations to offset any losses it may incur from its operations, he said.
“We need that fund to ensure stabilization,” he said.
These measures will allow the BSP to better fulfill its mandate of promoting financial and monetary stability, he said.
“This is now the reality, if central banks today are to continue to discharge their responsibility to promote financial and monetary stability they need stronger corporate viability,” he said.
During the 16th Congress, the bill amending “the New Central Bank Act” has been approved by lower house but failed to pass the Senate.
In the current Congress, lawmakers have yet to file a measure that will amend the 23-year-old BSP Charter.
Representative Ben Evardone of Eastern Samar said the committee on banks will make the sure that the BSP Charter amendment will be a priority measure.