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Solon wants online bank transfer fees suspended

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A leader of the House of Representatives on Thursday called for a moratorium on the collection of online bank transfer fees amid the surge of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases, according to a report by Philippine News Agency.

Deputy Speaker Bernadette Herrera said the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and banking community should work together to help Filipinos affected by the surge in new infections, which prompted some banks to close or limit operating hours and the public to resort to electronic banking.

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Herrera said it is only proper for banks to continue providing relief to their distressed customers by extending their waiver of fees for online fund transfers

“We have to remind BSP and banking community that the pandemic is not over yet and in fact, we are currently experiencing a new wave of disruptions that are making it more difficult for our kababayans to recover,” Herrera said.

She said the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are the frequent users of online bank transfers, adding that the sector is one of the hardest hit by the pandemic and ensuing implementation of quarantine measures, and it has yet to recover from the devastating effects of the health crisis.

“We must continue to provide much needed relief to stressed MSMEs in order to stave off the dire economic effects of Covid-19,” she said.

She argued that suspending online banking fees and charges is the right thing to do during this time where social distancing and digital transactions are encouraged.

“Small things like temporarily waiving fees for digital fund transfers help ensure more people do online transactions when people are staying home and social distancing is encouraged,” Herrera said. “It is also a small gesture to help in time of economic distress."


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