House panel consolidates bills to create PH’s digital currency

Zandro Ochona, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 12 2020 02:49 AM

MANILA – A House of Representatives committee announced on Friday the formation of a technical working group to consolidate 4 bills to create the country’s digital currency. 

According to the House Committee on Banks and Financial Intermediaries, the bills aim to create the Bangko Sentral Digital Peso to promote the adoption of electronic money in the country. 

The currency could be a medium of exchange for financial transactions of the government and all merchants in the country, the House committee said. 

Mhel Plabasan, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) director of Technology Risk and Innovation Supervision, said the creation of a digital peso has been in the works but is unlikely to be issued soon. 

Plabasan said her department has been studying the creation of the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), the regulated equivalent of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, and the use of e-money for government transactions.

BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno in October said the creation of the digital currency would not happen in his time. 

"The end of my term is 2023. I don’t think so. Most central banks say they will not issue a CBDC within the next 5 years, so not within my term," Diokno said.

BSP bank officer Faith Cacnio echoed Diokno, saying the central bank is not ready yet to issue its own digital currency. 

“The BSP is not actually that ready to issue its own CBDC and as the experience of other central banks has shown, it really takes time, many are still in the research process. Some central banks are in their pilot but that takes years,” said Cacnio. 

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