Gatchalian pushes anew bill giving more consumer protection vs financial fraudsters

Gatchalian pushes anew bill giving more consumer protection vs financial fraudsters

Sen. Win Gatchalian

By Ernie Reyes

MANILA — With a strong backing from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas
(BSP), Senator Win Gatchalian pushed anew the passage of his bill
protecting financial consumer welfare amid the increased adoption of
digitalization of financial products and services in the country.

“The government should continuously be more proactive in terms of
coming up with ways to protect our consumers,” Gatchalian said.

In welcoming the BSP’s support for Senate Bill No. 2287 or the
proposed “Financial Products and Services Consumer Protection Act,”
the Vice-Chairperson of the Senate Economic Affairs Committee
expressed gratitude to the country’s central monetary authority for
underscoring the significance of an enabling law that will safeguard
the interest of financial consumers.

Gatchalian noted the prevalence of the use of financial services as
well as innovations in financial products and services following the
eruption of the COVID-19 pandemic last year.

Alongside this development, Gatchalian said that consumers have also
become more vulnerable to groups or entities who prey upon those in
need while fraudsters have become more creative and sophisticated in
hijacking personal information found in both physical devices and
online accounts.

“We need to stay ahead because hackers and fraudsters also evolve and
they know how or where people are lax when it comes to protecting
their identity and personal information,” Gatchalian, also Vice
Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions
and Currencies” said.

“We need to strengthen the powers of government and clear up the lines
on who will protect financial consumers and what are the mechanisms
for financial consumers to tap into in case of fraud,” he added.

SB 2287, Gatchalian explained, seeks to expand the powers of the BSP
and other financial regulators such as the Securities and Exchange
Commission (SEC), Insurance Commission (IC), and the Cooperative
Development Authority (CDA) to perform acts necessary for the
protection of financial consumers such as market conduct surveillance
and examination, market monitoring, enforcement, provision of
complaint handling mechanism, adjudication, and rule-making, among
others.

While the BSP already has in place its manual on consumer protection,
Gatchalian pointed out that such guidelines are limited to BSP
regulating BSP-supervised financial institutions and does not cover
other financial regulators and other pertinent institutions which also
provide financial services. (ai/mtvn)

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