House okays financial consumer protection bill

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THE HOUSE of Representatives approved on third and final reading on Monday a bill providing a framework for regulating financial products and services for consumer protection.

House Bill 9054 or the “Act Providing for the Protection of Financial Consumers” received 164 affirmative votes and zero negatives or abstention.

The bill aims to ensure that appropriate mechanisms are in place for the protection of financial consumers under conditions of transparency, fair and sound market conduct, and rational and effective handling of consumer disputes.

The measure mandates the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Securities and Exchange Commission, Insurance Commission and the Cooperative Development Authority as implementing agencies pursuant to authority granted under their respective charters.

It also mandates financial providers to install monitoring systems to ensure compliance with the law and to identify and manage risks inherent to their operations. The law likewise calls for the strengthening of rule-making, surveillance and inspection, market monitoring, and enforcement powers of government regulators.

The measure prohibits contract stipulations on waiver of rights to sue, to receive information, to seek recourse for complaints, to enforce data privacy or to cancel a contract without incurring unreasonable penalty. — VACF