House panel OKs bill regulating bank accounts, e-wallets

A substitute bill passed by the House Committee on Banks and Financial Intermediaries will control the usage of bank accounts and e-wallets to prevent them from being used for odd or suspicious financial activity.

handy terminal and smart phone. Cashless settlement.

On Thursday, the measure received preliminary approval. It makes it illegal to serve as a money mule or take money on someone else’s behalf for nefarious purposes.

Opening a bank account or an e-wallet to receive, transfer, or withdraw proceeds from crimes, violations, or “social engineering schemes” will also be banned.

During debates, Melchor Plabasan, Director of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Technology Risk and Innovation Supervision Department, stated the proposed modifications to the bill were aimed at making it simpler and compatible with other laws or regulations.

The BSP proposes amending the bill’s title, which now reads “An Act Regulating the Use of Bank Accounts, E-Wallets, and Other Financial Accounts,” as well as replacing the term “phishing” with “social engineering plan.”

The Philippine National Police (PNP) also recommended including a provision imposing a penalty for specific conduct forbidden by the measure one degree higher than the penalty imposed under the Revised Penal Code.

When House sessions begin on Jan. 17, the subcommittee hopes to send the approved measure to the House plenary for further consideration and approval.

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