A HOUSE leader on Thursday called for a moratorium on collection of online bank transfer fees.
Deputy Speaker Bernadette Herrera said the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and banking community should work together to help Filipinos affected by the unprecedented surge in COVID-19 cases, which prompted some banks to close or limit operating hours and the public to resort to electronic banking.
“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 pointed out.
“Therefore, it is only proper for banks to continue providing relief to their distressed customers by extending their waiver of fees for online fund transfers,” she added, emphasizing that the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) sector are the frequent users of online bank transfers.
Herrera noted that the MSME 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,” the Bagong Henerasyon lawmaker said.
Meanwhile, Herrera maintained 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.”