House OK’s PDIC charter amendments


THE HOUSE of Representatives has approved a bill on the revised charter of the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp. (PDIC), which will include allowing the agency to adjust its insurance limit per depositor.

Lawmakers on Thursday voted 185 affirmative to six negative and one abstention for the approval of House Bill 8818 or the proposed law that aims to strengthen the powers of the PDIC and expand the maximum deposit insurance coverage in the country.

If enacted, the revised charter will make the PDIC an attached agency of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to streamline overlapping functions of both entities. The PDIC is currently under the Department of Finance.

The bill will also give the PDIC the authority to increase the maximum deposit insurance coverage subject to review every three years, with the amount determined by the PDIC indexed to inflation and other economic factors. The current maximum deposit insurance amount is P500,000 per depositor per bank.

The revised charter will also allow the PDIC to have access to records, books of accounts and depository reports if there are issues of fraud or unsafe banking activities related to deposits. The BSP shall have access to the examination reports of the PDIC.

Both the PDIC and the BSP may look into deposit records of a bank, with bank officials and employees required to disclose the information.

Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani T. Zarate, who voted against the bill’s approval, said the new charter of the PDIC expands the BSP’s powers to examine deposit accounts and “indirectly amends the Bank Deposit Secrecy Law.”

“If the bill passes, the confidential nature of bank deposits are no longer effectual. This practically opens the floodgates to the examination or investigation of bank records by any person the BSP would authorize. The confidentiality of bank deposits is no longer essentially true,” he said during the plenary on Thursday. — G.M. Cortez

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