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July 21, 2024

BSP says whole-of-gov’t approach needed to protect consumers

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is continuously advocating for a whole-of-government approach to strengthen consumer protection in the country.

BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno acknowledged the World Bank’s recommendation for stronger interagency coordination in implementing consumer protection programs, including the Financial Products and Services Consumer Protection Act (FCPA).

“The BSP had long pushed for the enactment of the FCPA, but we recognize that consumer protection requires a whole-of-government approach. We look forward to the implementation of this crucial reform in the digital age,” the outgoing central bank governor and incoming Finance Secretary said during the recent Philippines Economic Update June 2022 Report Launch and Forum organized by the World Bank.

The World Bank Report recognized that various agencies in the Philippines promote consumer protection in their respective fields: the BSP for electronic payments, the Department of Agriculture for agricultural and fishery products, and the Department of Health for food, drugs, cosmetics, and medical devices in terms of health and safety hazards.

“Policymakers should strengthen their regulatory and supervisory framework for financial consumer protection, including cyber security, through the implementation of the FCPA,” the World Bank report stated.

The FCPA empowers financial regulators to take necessary steps against financial service providers that act in ways that are disadvantageous to consumer welfare. The measure also provides consumers with redress mechanisms, while ensuring equitable treatment, transparency, and data privacy.