Recent Developments

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (the BSP or the Philippines' central bank and monetary authority) has recently issued Memorandum No. M-2020-006 (Memorandum) dated 11 March 2020 on response plan to COVID-19 for BSP-supervised financial institutions (BSFIs) and operators of payment systems (OPS).

Under the Memorandum, BSFIs and OPS are expected to adopt and implement appropriate response plans and mechanisms to ensure the health and safety of their employees and customers while delivering continued financial services to the general public. Following the response plans, trigger events such as the current COVID-19 epidemic, must allow for alternate work arrangements or remote access capabilities, as may be deemed practicable and/or necessary. Further, BSFIs and OPS must implement clear communication protocols covering all relevant internal and external stakeholders. Such institutions must also ensure that their employees are properly guided on limiting or reducing the risk of being affected by the COVID-19 epidemic through timely and continuous cascades of relevant information.

The BSP also advised BSFIs and OPS to constantly monitor and gather relevant information on the COVID-19 epidemic, both locally and globally, and continuously assess the impact of these events on their response strategies.

Actions to Consider

BSFIs and OPS must ensure compliance with the requirements under the Memorandum. We will closely monitor any further issuances of the BSP in connection with the COVID-19 epidemic and provide updates in subsequent alerts.

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