On 4 March 2022, a Joint Administrative Order No. 22-01entitled Guidelines for Online Businesses Reiterating the Laws and Regulations Applicable to Online Business and Consumers, was published among 6 government bodies. The JAO seeks to increase consumer confidence in business-to-consumer and business-to-business e-commerce transactions by ensuring that e-commerce platforms, electronic retailers and online merchants are guided on the rules, regulations and responsibilities in the conduct of online business. It reiterates existing policies, procedures and guidelines that apply to online businesses, and provides an integrated remedies process for online consumers.
Cross-border lending in Asia Pacific continues to grow steadily despite external factors such as COVID-19. While the region is not immune to external factors, borrowing volumes for financial institutions, credit funds and other market participants remain high in Asia Pacific. Considering the demographics of many of the nations, the various financial centers and many market participants investing more substantially in some of those financial centers, we remain optimistic that lending activity across Asia Pacific will continue to grow.
On 16 February 2021, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act No. 11523 or the Financial Institutions Strategic Transfer Act (“FIST Act”). The FIST Act allows financial institutions (FIs), including the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), banks, financing companies, investment houses, lending companies, insurance companies, government financial institutions, government-owned or -controlled corporations, and other institutions licensed by the BSP to perform quasi-banking functions and credit-granting activities, to offload non-performing loans and other bad assets to a Financial Institutions Strategic Transfer Corporation (FISTC). The law took effect on 22 February 2021.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) issued Circular No. 1105, series of 2020, the Guidelines on the Establishment of Digital Banks (Circular). It took effect on 23 December 2020. The Circular considers digital bank as a distinct classification of bank and provides the framework for its operation and establishment.
The Insurance Commission, through Circular Letter No. 2018-74 dated 28 December 2018 (Circular Letter), issued the guidelines for admissibility of investments in infrastructure projects, thereby encouraging insurance and professional reinsurance companies to invest in infrastructure projects under the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) for 2017 to 2022. Based on the Circular…