BSP eases rules on forex transactions
Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) - March 29, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has approved the operational relief measures for foreign exchange transactions amid the month-long enhanced community quarantine.

BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said “these measures will facilitate the access to foreign exchange resources of the banking system by the public to finance legitimate transactions.”

Diokno said the BSP agreed to waive applicable processing fees for applications covering private sector foreign/foreign currency loans or borrowings with foreign exchange obligations due within the period covered by the effectivity of the relief measures.

The central bank is now allowing the electronic submission of documents for applications for approval or registration of foreign currency loans/borrowings/investments as well as sale of foreign exchange by authorized agent banks and foreign exchange companies.

It is also now allowing the use of e-signatures or digital signatures for documents originally submitted in hardcopy as well as the submission of documents without the e-signatures or digital signatures and required notarizations.

The BSP also agreed not to impose monetary penalties for delayed submission of reports and to relax the deadline and prescriptive period for the submission of certain documents, information, and applications covering foreign currency loans and investments.

Likewise, the issuance of central bank documents such as the Bangko Sentral registration document and implementing letter would be in electronic form.

The BSP has been liberalizing foreign exchange transactions and streamlining requirements for the registration of foreign investments in the country as part of efforts to promote ease of doing business in the Philippines.

According to the BSP, the reforms are expected to enhance the flexibility of investors in managing funds, foster capital market development, facilitate purchase of foreign exchange from banks for foreign loans, and enhance data capture on external debt.

The registration of foreign investments with the BSP is optional and is required only if the foreign exchange for repatriation of capital and the remittance of earnings would be sourced from authorized agent banks or their affiliate foreign exchange corporations.

On the other hand, all borrowers with foreign loans, whether or not they will buy foreign currency from banks are required to regularly report loan transactions to the BSP

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