Governor Benjamin E. Diokno of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) announced today that the Monetary Board approved operational relief measures for foreign exchange (FX) transactions in line with the declaration of “community quarantine” by the Office of the President (OP) amidst the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

These measures will facilitate the access to FX resources of the banking system by the public to finance legitimate transactions.

The approved measures mainly involve: (a) electronic submission of documents for: (i) applications for approval and/or registration of foreign/foreign currency loans/borrowings/investments; and (ii) sale of FX by authorized agent banks (AABs)/AAB forex corps; (b) use of e-signatures/digital signatures for documents originally required to be submitted in hardcopy and/or requiring signature; (c) submission of documents without the e-signatures/digital signatures/required notarizations; (d) non-imposition of monetary penalties for delayed submission of reports; (e) relaxation of deadline/prescriptive period for the submission of certain documents/information/applications covering foreign/foreign currency loans/borrowings/investments; (f) waiver of applicable processing fees for applications covering private sector foreign/foreign currency loans/borrowings with FX obligations due within the period covered by the Circular; and (g) issuance of BSP documents [e.g., Bangko Sentral Registration Document (BSRD), implementing letter] by the International Operations Department in electronic form.

The measures shall be effective for the duration of the declaration of “community quarantine”[1] by the OP, or as may be extended by the BSP.

The governor emphasized that notwithstanding these relief measures on FX rules, banks are expected to continue to adopt safe and sound practices in their operations.

The implementing circular will take effect immediately. (BSP)