Senator Grace Poe welcomed on Wednesday the signing of the Financial Institutions Strategic Transfer (FIST) Act, which is expected to help in dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak’s impacts to the country’s financial sector.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque announced on February 17 that President Duterte has signed the Republic Act No. 11523, which allows banks and other financial institutions to dispose of their non-performing loans and assets.
“The law is a measure designed for tough times, and we are glad it is now institutionalized into our financial system,” Poe, chairperson of the Senate banks committee and sponsor of the bill, said in a statement.
Poe said such “lifeline” to banks and financial institutions will result in “more credit access for businesses, preservation of jobs and even generation of new ones as economic activities continue.”
“At the heart of this law are the people and their jobs and livelihood which we aim to protect amid the pandemic-induced economic crunch…Jobs are crucial to productivity and the rebound of the economy,” she added.
Government economic managers have been pushing for the enactment of the FIST law as another COVID-19 recovery measure.
During the Senate committee hearing on the bill last year, an official of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said the failure to prepare for the expected increase of non-performing assets could “adversely affect” the confidence of investors and could cause the rise in unemployment and economic slowdown.