By Bianca Cuaresma, June 10 2019; Business Mirror

Image Credit to Business Mirror

THE Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is set to explore more bilateral relations with greater Asia, its chief said, citing the benefits of recent bilateral partnerships with other central banks in Southeast Asia.

Guesting at the BusinessMirror Coffee Club in Makati City on Friday, Governor Benjamin Diokno said they are particularly looking to sign more bilateral agreements with their counterpart monetary authorities in China, Japan and South Korea.

This, after the Philippines reaped the benefits from recent regional bilateral agreements among member-countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).

For years now, country’s central monetary authority has been establishing ties with its counterparts particularly in Asean as part of the regional banking integration framework. One of the most notable accords was the BSP and the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS) FinTech cooperation agreement (CA) signed in 2017, a partnership made in an effort to promote innovation in financial services in both jurisdictions.

“The BSP signed the fintech cooperation with the Monetary Board of Singapore last November 2017. Through the agreement we have gained insights on the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s sandbox approaches, with the concepts, projects and technologies as well as other fintech,” Diokno said at the forum hosted by the BusinessMirror alongside the ALC Group of media companies.

With this, Diokno said he plans to touch base with other Asian central banks to create similar bilateral agreements.

“We plan to replicate the cooperation agreement with other regulators particularly China, South Korea and Japan. And increasing the number of fintech players from this country could offer innovative solutions in crypto currency and digital banking,” Diokno said.

“We have to learn lessons from them. To me, it’s good to talk with them and find out how they do it and their monetary policy. Given the technological innovations, the conduct of monetary policy will change. So we have to learn,” he added.

Diokno said that in terms of their policies on technological progress, they have embraced innovations with caution instead of fighting it.

“You can see systems that are heavily dependent on technology like China, for example—there’s no more cash in China, it’s just QR code,” Diokno said.

“So let us not fight it, at the same time let BSP do its job which is to be cautious. We have to make sure that any technology that will be introduced in society is safe for the Filipino people,” he added.

Diokno also said he is planning to strengthen the BSP’s technological expertise during his term.

“Because that’s also important: when you give approvals to certain technologies and something happens to that technology, BSP will be responsible,” Diokno said.