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Charter change to empower BSP

Incoming Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) governor Nestor Espenilla said amending the central bank’s charter would make it at par with counterparts in the world.
Espenilla said the antiquated charter has made the BSP grasping for answers to many challenges.
Sources at the monetary industry said losses incurred by the central bank need to be recomputed because they increased due to fluctuating foreign exchange market.
“BSP charter amendment is important to making the BSP more effective in fulfilling its core mandates,” Espenilla said.
Espenilla said the biggest gain from charter change is that it  will serve as “contingency” for  uncertainties in maintaining balance fiscal structure as well as managing banks.
“It’s a good idea to get BSP charter amendment to secure this as part of policy toolkit so we’re ready for any contingency. There’s a lot of uncertainties out there,” Espenilla pointed out.
The bill that seeks to amend its charter was first filed in 2009.
The bill hurdled the  first reading only last year after being given lesser priority, according to former Sen. Sergio Osmena III, chairman of the Senate committee on banks and financial institutions.
Osmena blamed the congressmen for the delay.     
Earlier, senior Monetary Board (MB) member Felipe Medalla said  BSP officials charged criminally by banks suffer from persecution.
“Everybody from the governor to the bank examiner must have immunity from suit,” Medalla said.
Other important provisions in the proposed amendments in the BSP charter are: Increasing its capital to P200 billion; additional mandate over financial stability and payments and settlement systems; authority to prompt public and private individuals and entities to provide data and information to the BSP; bring back authority to issue own bonds; authority to put reserves against FX fluctuations and cost of open market operations; and tax exemption for the BSP.                

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