Local news outlet Rappler reported on Sept. 23 that Poe made her remarks after a hearing by the Senate Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions and Currencies. She said:
“To most of our countrymen, this is alien to them, but in fact some of them have been availing of it through online lending. And without the proper information and education, a lot of them are actually victimized.”
A field that needs studying
Senator Francis Tolentino said during the same hearing that regulators should take their time to study the new technology. Poe admitted that lawmakers are not experts in the field of modern financial technology:
“Before we fall prey into this, as I’ve said, the BSP and the SEC already agreed to have a regular discussion so that they can come up with actual suggestions for legislation because we are not experts in this. […] We need people who are really knowledgeable, otherwise we might create more problems as opposed to rectifying the situation.”
Fintech task force suggested
Per the report, senators recommended the creation of a task force dedicated to studying fintech composed of the country’s central bank, securities regulator, deposit insurance corporation, department of finance and the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority — the body that oversees a special economic jurisdiction.
Tolentino also noted that the Department of Labor and Employment should also be included in the task force since “there are concerns that involve overseas Filipino workers.”
Commissioner of the Philipino Securities and Exchanges Commission Luis Amatong said that the regulator will issue new regulations to “require firms with digital offerings to be registered and be under regulatory scrutiny.”
Meanwhile cryptocurrency is becoming ever more accessible to Filipinos with Bitcoin (BTC) now being sold in over 6,000 local 7-Eleven outlets.