The Philippine central bank, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), now authorizes banks to sell foreign exchange to Filipinos who would send the money to relatives overseas.

In a virtual briefing on Thursday, BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said this is part of the latest foreign exchange reforms, under Circular No. 1124 dated Aug. 10, 2021 and which will take effect on September 13, aimed at making sure that foreign exchange liberalization will be in line with a bid to increase the share of digital payments and electronic financial transactions in the country.

“This ensures that our policies are attuned with international and domestic market developments and responsive to the needs of the economy amid the prevalence of e-commerce transactions,” he said.

For one, the latest reform permanently allows the electronic submission of documents and the use of electronic signatures to help clients meet the documentary requirements for foreign exchange transactions.

Diokno said the circular also supports the sale of foreign exchange to support the government’s infrastructure projects, as well as funding of the peso deposit accounts for foreigners with peso receipts related to trade transactions.

“These reforms are expected to facilitate FX (foreign exchange) transactions which, along with other key market reforms, may help contribute to the country’s continued economic expansion,” he said.

The central bank started liberalizing its foreign exchange policies in the 1990s to promote a market-oriented environment and help sustain the economy’s expansion.

Diokno said this bid “is done by ensuring that the country foreign exchange regulatory framework remains appropriate to the needs of a dynamic and expanding economy.”