BSP tells banks to load ATMs
Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) - April 8, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) yesterday ordered banks to load up their ATMs and provide essential banking services this Holy Week, taking into consideration the strong demand for cash as affected Filipinos avail themselves of the government’s cash aid and donations from private organizations.

BSP Deputy Governor Chuchi Fonacier said financial institutions should anticipate a unique scenario different from previous years as the country remains under enhanced community quarantine to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19.

Malacañang has extended the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon until April 30.

Fonacier issued Memorandum 2020-019 directing BSP-supervised financial institutions to ensure uninterrupted financial services are available to customers through ATMs and online financial platforms such as internet or mobile banking apps during the Holy Week.

“Additional considerations such as the release of the cash aid from the government’s social amelioration program and other cash donations from private organizations should be incorporated on top of the historical cash requirement projections during the Holy Week, “ she said.

Fonacier also said that banks should continuously monitor the cash level of ATMs and maintain adequate resources to ensure prompt cash reloading and replenishment.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has started distributing cash aid to poor families after Malacañang earmarked P200 billion under the social amelioration program amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

President Duterte has signed Republic Act 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act giving low-income households emergency subsidies ranging from P5,000 to P8,000 per month for two months.

The BSP has extended regulatory relief measures to Philippine banks to help ease the burden of Filipinos affected by the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon.

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