THE BANGKO Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), together with its regional counterparts, signed the sixth supplemental memorandum of agreement to renew the Assiociation of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) swap agreement (ASA).

BSP Governor Nestor A. Espenilla signed on Oct. 12 the supplemental agreement to extend the ASA for another two years beginning Nov. 17 this year, according to a statement from the central bank.

The swap agreement provides for a $2 billion short-term foreign exchange liquidity support for the 10-member ASEAN states who face balance of payments difficulties.

The principal agreement on the ASA came into force on Nov. 17, 2005 and has already been renewed six times.

The Philippines’ contributed some $300 million, which allows the country to draw up to $600 million from the fund pool.

The ASA provides the country an additional safety net similar to other regional financial arrangements including the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization under the ASEAN+3. – Elijah Joseph C. Tubayan