Duterte certifies as urgent FIST bill, measure to bolster anti-money laundering law
By Katrina Hallare
2020-10-17 10:52:47

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte talks to the people after holding a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members at the Malacañang Golf (Malago) Clubhouse in Malacañang Park, Manila on October 14, 2020. ROBINSON NIÑAL/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has certified as urgent the passage of bills that will ensure the resiliency of the Philippine financial sector amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and strengthen the Anti-Money Laundering Law.

In a letter to Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III on Friday, Duterte certified as urgent Senate Bill No. 1849 or the proposed Financial Institutions Strategic Transfer (FIST) Act.


This bill seeks to aid banks and financial institutions by allowing them to offload bad loans in a bid to cushion the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Duterte said the bill will “strengthen financial initiatives towards national economy recovery and maintain the stability of the financial sector amidst the COVID-19.” 


The FIST bill is currently endorsed for plenary approval in the Senate.

Senate building

The Senate building at the GSIS Complex in Pasay City. (Photo by LYN RILLON / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Meanwhile, the President also certified as urgent Senate Bill No. 1412 and its counterpart bill in the House, House Bill No. 6174, which seeks to strengthen Republic Act 9160 or the “Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001.” 


“Such compliance will avoid adverse findings against the country which could lead, among others, to increased costs of doing financial transactions, to the prejudice of the business sector and our overseas Filipino workers,” Duterte said in letters sent to Sotto and House of Representatives Speaker Lord Allan Velasco. 


Previously, Duterte certified as urgent a bill seeking to grant the country’s chief executive powers to streamline the issuance of licenses and permits in times of national emergencies.


The Senate version of the bill was passed on third reading on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the House counterpart bill was passed on Friday.  


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