Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III on Saturday welcomed the decision of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to keep its check clearing system and cash servicing units open during the three non-working days for the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit.
In a statement, Pimentel said the BSP was doing the banking and business sectors a great service by keeping the Philippine Payments and Settlements System (Philpass) operating during the Asean Summit.
“This is a positive development because it does not make sense for banking and business operations nationwide to be essentially paralyzed just because there is a three-day holiday in the nation’s capital. The Philippines, after all, is not just Metro Manila,” he added.
Earlier, Pimentel had urged Malacañang to make sure that a critical agency like the BSP, particularly its check clearing units, would remain when it suspends work in government offices in instances that would not include regular holidays or inclement weather, saying work stoppages would be “bad for business.”
He also explained that suspension of check clearing operations would disrupt many business activities, including the operations of banks and the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE).
Pimentel made the call following the two-day suspension of work last week due to the nationwide transport strike and the upcoming three special nonworking days from Nov. 13 to 15 to give way to the country’s hosting of the 31st Asean Summit.
BSP Gov. Nestor Espenilla Jr. on Friday said BSP’s Philpass and cash servicing units would remain open during the Asean holidays.
Pimentel said Espenilla’s directive, as well as the decision of banks and the PSE to remain open during the Asean holidays, would ensure that the country would be “open for business, not just open for Asean.” /atm
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