The public will greatly benefit from the proposed measures on bank deposit secrecy since these will help thwart domestic and global tax evasion and other financial crimes, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno said.
Diokno was grateful that Malacañang has included these measures as among the President’s legislative priorities for the 18th Congress.
“The bill enhances the BSP’s capacity to fulfill its mandate of promoting the safety and soundness of the banking system,” he said during Thursday’s media briefing.
House Bill (HB) No. 8991 is now on the second reading in plenary, while several related bills are now at the House Committee on Banks and Financial Intermediaries.
Several measures related to bank secrecy have also been filed at the Senate Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions, and Currencies.
Diokno said 22 private organizations have also issued statements supporting the enactment of the Bank Deposits Secrecy bill, citing its impact on economic recovery.
He said the central bank can share results of its examination with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC), Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC), Department of Justice (DOJ), and the courts “to prevent or prosecute an offense or crime.”
“Compliance with international standards on transparency will bolster the public and the global community’s trust in the domestic banking system,” he added.
During the same briefing, BSP Senior Assistant Governor and General Counsel lawyer Elmore Capule said results of their investigations cannot be shared with the Commission on Audit (COA) amid the fight against corruption in government since the measure focuses on financial institutions themselves.
“But our proposed amendment intends to prevent insider abuse, meaning bank frauds committed by bank officers, directors and agents. (It aims to prevent them) from abusing their powers and using bank secrecy as a shield,” he said.