The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Wednesday renewed a call for its charter amendment to update and strengthen its supervision of financial institutions.
“BSP continues to strengthen its framework for financial risk turbulence. We do this with tools within the limits of the present charter—Republic Act 7653,” Bangko Sentral Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. said in a speech during the Philippine Bar Association Luncheon Fellowship in Makati City on Wednesday.
The tools are now decades old as the BSP Charter or the New Central Bank Act had been enacted in 1993.
“To strengthen these tools and mechanisms for the protection of depositors’ savings, and to ensure the smooth flow of financial transactions as well as enhance corporate liability, the amendment to the BSP Charter is at the very top of our legislative agenda,” Espenilla said.
Since the BSP Charter was enacted, the economic and financial environment in changed in scale, scope, and complexity.
There is an urgent need to pass the proposed amendments that will enable the BSP to formulate and implement even better and timelier policies and programs to achieve prices stability and other important objectives.
“Amendments will allow the SP to act even more swiftly to ensure that supervised institutions are doing business in a safe and sound manner and discipline for risk-taking activities,” he said.
The salient features of the proposed charter amendments include recognizing financial stability as a BSP mandate; having oversight of the payment and settlement system; having the authority to acquire timely information even from non-supervised institutions; and having enhanced supervisory and regulatory powers.
“We believe that a strong BSP will translate to a more stable and resilient macroeconomy and a robust financial system that is attractive to investments and businesses to generate employment and inclusive growth,” he said.
Earlier, Senator Francis Escudero, chairman of the Senate Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions and Currencies, sponsored Senate Bill (SB) 1297 or “An Act Amending Republic Act 7653.”
The bill is a consolidation of four bills filed by Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon (SB 16), Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto (SB 859) and Senators Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito (SB 1148) and Escudero (SB 1027).
In his proposed bill, Escudero seeks to strengthen the Bangko Sentral’s monetary-stability function and supplement mechanisms in protecting savings of depositors and in ensuring smooth flow of transactions in the financial system.
SB 1297 seeks to increase the central bank capitalization to P150 billion, from P50 billion, payable immediately upon effectivity of the law in order to strengthen the corporate and financial viability of the country’s monetary authority.
It will give the central bank the flexibility to establish adequate loss allowances and create reserve buffers against future risks and contingencies, and restoration of tax exemption, similar to other central banks in the world.