Showing posts with label bangko sentral ng pilipinas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bangko sentral ng pilipinas. Show all posts

Bangko Sentral aims to improve local fiscal policies

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has issued landmark guidelines formalizing electronic money transactions, reportedly the first of its kind of electronic innovation in the world.

The new rules set a maximum monthly load limit of P100,000 ($2,068) on any e-money instrument such as cash cards, e-wallets and similar products.

The Anti-Money Laundering Law will also cover e-money transactions.

Meanwhile, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas otherwise hosted the National Course on Macroeconomic Management and Financial Sector Issues, conducted by International Monetary Fund-Singapore Regional Training Institute (IMF-STI), for executives from NEDA, Dept. of Budget and Management, Bureau of Treasury, Dept. of Finance, and the BSP. The annual program sponsored by the governments of Japan and Singapore cascades real-world issues to government officials to support efficient implementation of macroeconomic and financial policies.

Such program aims at strengthening of our fiscal policies amid the impact of the global financial crisis.

BSP- SM Partnership Boosts Coin Recirculation & Support for Public Schools

SM Prime Holdings Inc., the largest shopping mall operator in the Philippines, is one of the partners of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas in promoting the regular use of coins and the “Tulong Barya Para sa Eskwela,” the joint BSP-DepEd coin collection campaign for the benefit of public elementary schools.

At SM’s Mall of Asia, the program was launched by (from left) SM Supermalls President Annie Garcia, SM Prime Holdings SVP for Retail Operations Jorge Mendiola, Monetary Board Member Juanita Amatong, and BSP Corporate Affairs Director Fe de la Cruz. The Bangko Sentral has issued roughly 14 billion pieces of coins worth P14 billion. However, the habit of many consumers to leave coins in their homes and offices have reduced the number of coins in circulation. By supporting “Tulong Barya,” coins are recirculated, stores are able to provide exact change to consumers, and funds are raised for public elementary schools. “Tulong Barya” coin cans are at cashier counters of SM Department Stores.- BSP

Foreign reserves up on higher gold prices, govt loans

The recent climb of gold and the national government’s dollar loan proceeds increased the Philippines’ foreign exchange reserves last month, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said.

The Bangko Sentral recently reported through their website that the Philippines gross international reserves (GIR) went up by 0.26 percent to $39.3 billion as of end- February from $39.2 billion the previous month.

The current dollar reserves are enough to to cover 5.9 months of imports of goods and payments of services and income.

The increase was the result of the national government’s deposits of loan proceeds from the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank and higher prices of BSP gold holdings, BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco said.

Inflows from the BSP’s net foreign exchange operations aside from revaluation gains in the gold holdings on higher gold prices in the international market in February helped beef up GIR.

"These inflows were partly offset by payments of maturing foreign exchange obligations of the NG and the BSP," Tetangco added.

Net international reserves (NIR) – which is the difference between the BSP’s GIR and total short-term liabilities – is up by 1.59 percent month-on-month to $38.3 billion from $37.7 billion. NIR includes revaluation of reserve assets and reserve-related liabilities.

Platinum comeback to $1000 level, gold & silver remain steady

Platinum made a comeback after posting extensive gain since it slowed down mid-year 2008. The industrial metal made a $44 rise in a single day trading outperforming other commodities. Meanwhile, gold remained steady in the $900 after dipping the $800 level last week, silver gained its foothold on the $13 territory after one of its best performance last week.

Bullion coins in the local market remain scarce as more and more people seek silver and gold in exchange of insurance and other paper investments on fear of becoming the latest victim of fraud and pyramid scams as investigation to Legacy Group get into deeper level.

Latest information revealed that owners of the bankrupt company were able to dupe their investors on promise that their investments would double in a short period of time. Owners were said to have paid the first level investors with the promise which had enticed others to believe the investment scheme is working.

Celso Delos Angeles, the company owner made accusations that his company failed due to faulty regulations and red tape in the Central Bank which the bank officers have disregarded as a desperate move by Delos Angeles to sway the flow of the investigation.

The local banking sector is also preparing for drastic measures as gossip about bank mergers circulate in the market. Early this year, East West Bank made one of its biggest deal by acquiring Philam Savings Bank, a local subsidiary once under the international insurance giant AIG. PNB and Allied Bank of business magnate Lucio Tan, is also on talks of a possible merger in the near future as the damage of the global financial crisis deepens in the local economy.

Local mining sector is still making some "ups and downs" headlines as several bad and good news hit the industry this week.

Apex Mining said about 32,000 kilograms of ore with visible gold were discovered during the first week of exploration at a new vein in its mining project at Davao del Norte.

The company said information from this activity will form the basis of further exploration drilling and feasibility studies in its project in Maco town.

The listed company told regulators that it entered into a contract with a cooperative composed of villagers and local government units to explore the new vein system called Sagaysagay, which was discovered by locals last year.

"On the cooperative's first week of operation it gathered 800 bags at 40 kilograms per bag of ore," Apex said.

Sagaysagay contains ores with visible "free-gold" which is expected to result in higher gold recovery.

Apex said there had earlier been an influx of small-scale mining activities at the Sagaysagay vein system without consent from the company.

Apex said it decided to stop the illegal mining activities without antagonizing the locals by entering into a service contract with the local cooperative with members from the indigenous peoples and 15 barangays in Maco.

BSP tightens regulations to prevent more bank failures

The Bangko Sentral Ng Pilipinas will release new regulations aimed to penalize and restrain “aggressive banking" tactics.

Besides setting clear definitions of “aggressive banking," the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) will issue a circular that will impose harsher penalties on banks who plan to cheat their depositors.

“The new guidelines clearly define instances or acts of unsafe and unsound banking practices so that there can be no doubt the regulations have been violated and the banker punished," BSP deputy governor Nestor A. Espenilla said.

The new set of rules define “aggressive banking" as giving loans to borrowers that have poor credit histories by extending their interest rates without much protection for such risks.

Operational standards – as set under the new rules – will make “aggressive banking" extremely difficult since off-market interest rates are going to be defined as more than 50 percent of the median market rate.

“The guidelines in past circulars were implicit. In the new guidelines the rules are now clearly spelled out," Espenilla said.

Aiming to prevent a repeat of recent rural bank failures that have disenfranchised thousands of depositors, new central bank rules have disallowed banks from offering deposit and loan rates that are too high and accepting risky borrowers.

The Monetary Board last week approved Circular 640, which amends a directive issued in 2002. The latter, Circular 341, contains the implementing guidelines of Section 56 — “Conducting Business in an Unsafe or Unsound Manner" — of Republic Act 8791 or the General Banking Law of 2000. Its annex, which Circular 640 amended, lists the activities considered as unsafe and unsound banking practices.

The old annex listed “excessive reliance on large, high-interest or volatile deposits/borrowings" as one of these practices. The amendment restates this to “excessive reliance on large, high-cost or volatile deposits/borrowings to fund aggressive growth that may be unsustainable."

The Monetary Board defines “high-cost" as an effective interest rate on deposits or borrowings that is 50 percent higher than the prevailing market median for similar banks.

Aside from high interest rates, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) will examine how deposits were obtained, in particular if a bank resorted to offering noncash incentives worth more than the deposits or if the bank accepted the money outside its premises without central bank authorization.

Last year,PDIC seized 13 rural banks belonging to or affiliated with the Legacy conglomerate on account of unsafe and unsound banking practices, insufficient assets to cover liabilities, and poor liquidity. The Legacy banks had been known to lure depositors with a 20 percent interest.

Recently, heavy withdrawals by panicky depositors brought down two Pampanga-based rural banks this month. All 15 banks have since been placed under the receivership of the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp. (PDIC).

Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines (RBAP) President Tomas S. Gomez IV said the organization “fully supports" the latest BSP circular.

“It further strengthens depositor protection and is consistent with the BSP’s mandate of prudential regulation. Coupled with PDIC charter amendments ... the revised circular will further strengthen the Philippine banking system," he said.

Circular 640 also expands the list of circumstances that comprise “hazardous lending and lax collection."

One is a high incidence of spurious loans because of poor risk management systems. Another is a high number of borrowers with poor credit histories or a high number of loans that are either unsecured or backed with minimum collateral values. A third is high loan rates designed to compensate for the risks attendant to these type of borrowers and loans. “High" is defined as effective interest rates that are 50% higher than the prevailing market median.

Also, “operating in a way that produces a deficit in net operating income without adequate measures to ensure a surplus in net operating income in the future" constitutes an unsafe and unsound banking practice.

Circular 341 allows the Monetary Board to issue cease and desist orders to banks and to impose a fine of not more than P30,000 per day per transaction, among other sanctions.

Gold Mining battle of Vizcaya gets backing

Oceanagold Corp. Dipidio Mine

International and local environmentalists and local residents on Tuesday urged the provincial government of Nueva Vizcaya to take a stronger stance and pass a resolution declaring a moratorium on large-scale mining in the province.

Delegates of the International Solidarity Mission, which conducted a fact-finding mission in Kasibu town where New Zealand firm OceanaGold Corp. has mining interests, said it was already proven that mining does not bring economic benefits to the community and instead brings hardship and disunity among the tribes.

The group also recommended to assess the damage the mining activities have incurred to the communities and to the local environment as the basis for eventual rehabilitation of the area and compensation to the affected communities where OceanaGold is accountable for.

OceanaGold recently announced that it was suspending its mining operations in Dipidio, Kasibu due to financial difficulties.

The Mission has also recommended to the affected communities to develop a more concrete plan to adopt a policy geared toward genuine development through a strong sustainable agricultural base, adding that there should be a change in policy of the national government with the scrapping of Mining Act of 1995 and its mining revitalization program that would include complete stoppage of Didipio Gold-Copper Mining Project of OceanaGold.

On December 7-8, the ISM team visited the targeted expansion areas of Didipio mining project, which are barangay Alimit and Malabing, of the Municipality of Kasibu. The team found out that the destruction of major agricultural and forest lands through the mine expansion would have grave economic and environmental consequences, not only to the said communities but to the whole province as well.

"The IP communities in Brgy. Alimit and Malabing are at risk of experiencing the same fate as those communities where multi-national mining corporations were allowed to enter. They are in danger of losing the resources most precious to us IPs, which is our land and right to self- determination," said Himpad Mangumalas, leader of national IP organization, Kalipunan ng mga Katutubong Mamayan sa Pilipinas.

Himpad added that, "It is very disheartening to find how the resources and the very rights we have been fighting for since time immemorial are easily given to foreign companies. One instance is how OceanaGold was permitted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to cut 17,000 trees and to destroy critical watershed areas. IPs, on the other hand, are deprived of our claim to the land and resources that have so long been with us."

The ISM was joined also by local participants who shared their own struggle in their own communities, particularly those who have experienced mining firsthand in neighboring towns Didipio and Runruno, and in the province of Apayao.

The dialogue coincided with the opening of the Lower Magat Eco-Tourism Park(LMETP), by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and is to be attended by top government officials.

"It is ironic how President Arroyo claims to be a champion of the environment and the people, as illustrated by her eco-tourism park and yet her national and economic policies show otherwise. Even though the local communities are opposed to mining and have exhausted means to stop the mining in the area, Arroyo with her agencies still push for the liberalization of mining in the country," said Clemente Bautista Jr., national coordinator of progressive environmental groups Kalikasan People's Network for the Environment. - GMANews.TV

Proposal for Scrapping Lowly Coins Denied

Philippine current low denomination coins

Scrapping coins whose values fall below one peso would be impractical for the Philippine government and unfair to consumers, a government official said on Thursday.

The government will also be unable to switch to a purely paper currency system because paper “has a shorter lifespan," the official who refused to be identified told GMANews.TV.

The official was prompted to issue this statement after Representative Roilo Golez filed a resolution urging the House Committee on Banks and Financial Intermediaries to conduct an inquiry regarding the “practicability of retiring and demonetizing the centavo as a Philippine currency."

House Resolution No. 898 also proposes to “round off cash transaction values to the nearest peso."

“Despite the number of coins issued in circulation, demand remains unfilled in many parts of the country because these coins are not being recirculated, or used regularly by the public but instead are kept inside bank vaults, piggy banks, inside drawers, used as washers, or even thrown away as inconvenience," the resolution said.

However, the official pointed out that while it is more expensive to produce coins, keeping them in the system is in accordance to the law.

Lower denominated coins also serve many consumers who buy inexpensive items, the official added.

The source said a 25-centavo coin costs as much as 80 centavos, depending on the price of metal in world markets.

Meanwhile, SM Hypermarket, which operates the SM Group’s hybrid department and supermarket store, said it sees no unfavorable effect should the said House Bill become a law.

The group has been thinking of ways to solve the problem of giving their customers the exact change for their purchases, Robert Kwee, SM Hypermarket executive vice president, said in a telephone interview.

“On our own, we're trying to find ways to eliminate the change because we've been getting complaints," he said.

Kwee noted that there were instances when the store is forced “with its back on the wall" because even banks had run out of coins.

He said that there were times when they were forced to exchange sweets and sweeteners with coins or even reward points to appease irate customers.

Itong dela Eva, IT Head for SM Food group, agreed.

“We don't see any problem with the proposal," she said.

However, Kwee cautioned lawmakers from rushing the proposal, saying that customers must first be consulted about it.

“My only suggestion is that we also get the side of the customers because some of them will still want to be given exact change," he said.

SM Hypermarket is seeking to build its 12th and 13th stores in the country. - GMANews.TV

The Extremely Rare 1986 Marcos head 500 - peso note to be auctioned this Month

Lot Description of the Marcos Head 500-peso banknote

The Bayanihan Collectors Club Local Auction Catalgue

After the Marcos regime ended, the Aquino government implemented a draconian reformation including the immediate deletion of all memories that would remind the public of the former president. Statues, monuments, publications, including projects were torn down, demolished, or discontinued as part of the process. During that same period, then Bangko SentralNg Pilipinas was about to introduce the 500-peso denomination, which featured Marcos head. Before the denomination was about to be distributed, Ferdinand Marcos was ousted by way of the first People Power revolution thus, it never reached circulation and were left stored in the Central Bank’s vault until the new government was installed.

Former president Aquino ordered the destruction of all of these banknotes that even the Central Bank Museum does not have any specimen in their collection. The order was very directive that not a single piece be left as a reminder of the history that had taken placed. However, a single image of the note was captured by a researcher who was then compiling a catalogue of Philippine banknotes. I have found that mysterious manuscript inside the Quezon City Hall public Library with the original pictures attached to it. The crude research paper never reached mass production and the original manuscript was placed along with several books in the Filipiniana section. The pages of the manuscript were already torn that even the title page was missing yet surprisingly, the single picture of the 500-Marcos note was there when I first made that discovery.

I was disappointed that the library do not allow their books brought outside despite of my formal request from the administrator to have it colored copied, and thus I left the image at the hands of other library goers.

The second time I came, I brought myself a digital camera to have the image reproduced but it was not there anymore. Sad to say that even just the picture of this amazingly rare note was lost that I had feared that it was lost forever until a great news arrived.

This 30th of November, the Bayanihan Collectors Club will conduct a regular auction, which features the printer’s proof of the 500-peso Marcos banknote. Despite of the numerous rare collections that will be offered, the item is placed under the regular local auction so, no image was attached along with the lot description. This is a once in lifetime opportunity for Philippine note collectors since this is the first time that the numismatic world would first capture the first and probably the only existing copy of the note---which coincidentally, is also the printer’s copy.

"Pondo Ng Pinoy" May Cause Coin Shortage

Philippine Low Denomination coins

Fearing a coin shortage caused by his pet project, Manila archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales asked priests in his archdiocese to remit quickly the 25-centavo coins they collected.

In a memorandum, Rosales said he received word from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas his "Pondo ng Pinoy" project may cause a shortage of 25-centavo coins.

"I was told by somebody from Bangko Sentral that the Pondo ng Pinoy project was doing a disservice to the communities because parish priests were keeping the coins longer than necessary," he said in his memorandum, excerpts of which were posted on the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines website.

Rosales drew up the "Pondo ng Pinoy" project to collect 25-centavo coins from the faithful to give to charity, on the premise that small amounts can pile up to become big contributions.

But he said parish priests keeping the coins longer may lead to a shortage of the 25-centavo coins.

"We wish to remind parish priests not to hoard the coins in their parish offices or rectories but to remit them as soon as possible to the Pondo ng Pinoy office," he said.

In his circular, Rosales also authorized his priests to collect the "Pondo ng Pinoy" bottles in establishments that are under their jurisdiction.

"Our attention has been called to the fact that there are so many bottles of 'Pondo ng Pinoy' in various establishments, such as offices, schools, malls, and other institutions," he said.

The CBCP said that from July 2004 to December 2007, the fund has reached over P161 million. - GMANews.TV

BSP Issued Advisory Against Illegal Used Of Coins

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) requests the support of the public in reporting persons who are involved in defacing/mutilating or smuggling Philippine coins. Both are criminal acts punishable by law under Presidential Decree 247 and BSP Circular 98, Series of 1995 in relation to Section 2530 (f) of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines, as amended.

The BSP also warns the public against persons claiming that the central bank “buys” certain coin denominations higher than their face value. There is no truth to this information.

The BSP is the sole issuer of currency in the Philippines. It mints and circulates coins in accordance with its mandate to supply the currency requirements of the banking system and sustain economic growth. It determines the different denominations of our money, both banknotes and coins, and the public should accept them at face value, no more, no less.

Econonomic Report: OFW Remittance up by 17.2 %

Remittances of overseas Filipinos coursed through banks continued to be above the billion-dollar mark, at US$1.3 billion in August 2008. As a result, year-to-date remittances totaled nearly US$11 billion (at US$10.9 billion). The remittance level for the first eight months was 17.2 percent higher compared to the level recorded in the same period a year ago. Remittances in August 2008, however, grew at a slower pace of 10.4 percent compared to previous months.

While the ongoing global economic slowdown could put some dent on the growth of remittances, particularly from those advanced countries that would be most affected by the strains in the global financial markets, Officer-in-Charge Nestor A. Espenilla, Jr. observed that remittances will continue to provide strong support to the economy for a number of reasons. First, demand for Filipino workers overseas has been on an uptrend. Preliminary data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) showed that, for the first eight months of 2008, the number of Filipinos deployed abroad reached 884,907, 26.4 percent higher than the level a year ago (699,937). Newly-hired Filipinos were mostly deployed to the Middle East (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Kuwait) and Asia (Taiwan and Hong Kong). The ongoing conduct of talks with potential foreign employers combined with the increasing deployment of highly-skilled, therefore higher-paid Filipino workers (such as engineers, medical practitioners, production-related workers, hotel staff) continued to buoy the demand for Filipino manpower and the level of remittances.

Second, Filipino workers overseas and their families have gained greater access to enhanced banking services provided by local banks and their foreign counterparts. The increased access to formal channels by overseas Filipinos has been made possible by the establishment of more remittance centers and tie-ups abroad by local banks, OIC Espenilla added.

For the period January-August, remittances came largely from the U.S., Saudi Arabia, U.K., Italy, United Arab Emirates, Canada, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong. - BSP Media Release

The Flora and Fauna Patterns, Errors, and Trial Strikes Part 2

1994 Fifty Centavos (Small Flora And Fauna) Struck In Bronze

Here is another fifty centavos of the same denomination which just like its bigger version is also being suspected as a trial piece or a pattern since there were no bronze planchets produced for Philippine coins during that time. The governments intention of reducing the production or minting cost of coins and at the same time reduced the metal content of coins resulted to the smaller version of the Flora and Fauna series. The designs were similar only that the newer twenty-five centavos and fifty centavos have reeded edges and of course the color of the fifty centavos planchets were the same with that of the twenty-five centavos. This specimen is also in an uncirculated condition and even has luster. There were no other reported specimen that came out in the market except this one and this is again another exciting discovery in the world of Philippine numismatic.