Bill seeking to amend PH Insurance Code filed in Senate

Robie de Guzman   •   April 19, 2021   •   539

MANILA, Philippines – A bill seeking to introduce amendments to the Philippine Insurance Code and place the Insurance Commission (IC) under the supervision of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has been filed at the Senate.

In lodging Senate Bill 2133, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go proposed to amend Presidential Decree No. 1460 or the Insurance Code of 1978 to explicitly include health maintenance organizations (HMO) into the law’s regulatory coverage which shall enable the Insurance Commission (IC) to provide stricter supervision.

Go said this will better protect the industry and the public from unscrupulous practices.

At present, HMOs are covered by the IC but Go said it is still unclear if the provisions of the Insurance Code apply to them.

“Itong finile ko po, kahit nasa ilalim ng Insurance Commission ang HMO, ‘di pa rin po malinaw kung nag-apply sa HMO ang mga provision ng Insurance Code. Mas maganda rin na nasa batas,” the senator said in a statement.

“Ang panukala ay naglalayong isali ang HMO sa Insurance Code para ma-protektahan ang interes ng mga kababayan natin at mahikayat ang competitive market sa health insurance industry,” he added.

According to Go, HMOs will be subjected to the provisions of the Code not explicitly provided for in Executive Order 192. These provisions include the commission’s powers to issue cease-and-desist orders to prevent fraud or injury to the public.

This also aims to enhance competition in the insurance industry and effectively improve insurance services for Filipinos.

Under the proposed amendments, the Insurance Commission will also be put under the supervision of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas which ensures that all financial service providers in the country are regulated by a single regulatory authority. The IC’s powers will also be amended under the proposal.

If passed into law, Go expressed optimism that the measure will benefit Filipinos investing in HMOs as it will provide them the necessary safeguards to ensure that their investments are protected.

Bangko Sentral shares tips in determining fake banknotes

Robie de Guzman   •   September 9, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Thursday advised the public to carefully check their banknotes to ascertain the genuineness of the Philippine currency.

The BSP issued the advisory following reports circulating in social media and messaging apps on the existence of alleged counterfeit 1000-Peso banknotes.

Under Republic Act No. 10951, counterfeiters of Philippine currency are subject to the penalty of imprisonment of at least 12 years and 1 day and a fine not exceeding two million pesos, the central bank warned.

To check the authenticity of the new generation currency (NGC) banknotes, the BSP advised the public to use the “Feel-Look-Tilt” method to check the security features.

A detailed illustration of this method has been posted on BSP’s website.

Photo_NGC_ENGC.jpg

“From January to June 2021, the BSP led five successful law enforcement operations that resulted in the arrest of 14 individuals and the filing of nine separate criminal charges,” the central bank said.

The BSP also said it regularly conducts public information campaigns to educate the public on the design, security features, and proper handling of Philippine currency as well as relevant laws, policies, and programs.

“The BSP enhanced the New Generation Currency (NGC) banknotes to incorporate the latest anti-counterfeiting technology and improve the visual and tactile differentiation of each denomination,” it said.

The central bank advised the public to immediately report any information on counterfeiting of Philippine currency to the nearest police station or law enforcement agency for appropriate action.

The public may also reach the Payments and Currency Investigation Group (PCIG) at this email address, it added.

BSP reminds banks to accept mutilated banknotes, coins

Marje Pelayo   •   August 20, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Friday (August 20) reminded all authorized agent banks to accept mutilated banknotes and coins from the public.

Pursuant to BSP Circular No. 829, all BSP-authorized agent banks shall subsequently forward the said mutilated and/or doubtful currencies to the BSP for examination of redemption value and/or genuineness.

To avoid disintegration or further deterioration while in transit, banks are advised to place mutilated currency in appropriate containers.

Mutilated banknotes shall be valid for redemption if all of the following requirements are met;​

– The remaining surface area is no less than 3/5 of the original size of the banknote;

– A portion of any one of the signatures of the President of the Philippines or the Governor of the BSP remains; and

– Presence of the Embedded Security Thread (EST) or Windowed Security Thread (WST), unless the same is lost or damaged due to fire, water, chemical, or bitten by termites/rodents and the like.

Banknotes whose EST or WST were willfully removed shall not be valid for redemption.

The BSP encourages the cooperation of the banks and the public to help the agency preserve the integrity of Philippine currency.

Bangko Sentral tells banks to accept damaged bank notes, coins from public

Robie de Guzman   •   August 11, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Wednesday reminded all authorized agent banks to accept mutilated/doubtful currencies from the public.

The central bank said this is pursuant to BSP Circular No. 829.

Authorized agent banks should forward the damaged banknotes and coins to the BSP for examination of redemption value and/or genuineness.

The BSP said mutilated banknotes shall be valid for redemption if all of the following requirements are met:

  • The remaining surface area is no less than 3/5 of the original size of the banknote;
  • A portion of any one of the signatures of the President of the Philippines or the Governor of the BSP remains; and
  • Presence of the Embedded Security Thread (EST) or Windowed Security Thread (WST), unless the same is lost or damaged due to fire, water, chemical, or bitten by termites/rodents and the like.

Banknotes whose EST or WST were willfully removed shall not be valid for redemption, the BSP said.

To avoid disintegration or further deterioration while in transit, banks are advised to place mutilated currency in appropriate containers, it added.

“The BSP encourages the cooperation of the banks and the public in its commitment to preserve the integrity of Philippine currency,” it said.

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