Philippines Evaluating Currency Restrictions to Boost Trading

  • Could Raise 10,000-peso limit on funds that can be taken out
  • Central bank has undertaken several waves of currency reforms

The Philippine central bank is evaluating currency restrictions, including possibly raising the 10,000-peso ($212) limit of local currency that can be taken in and out of the country by travelers, to boost trading.

“If we see that there are still restrictions that could prevent an otherwise vibrant cross-border trading, then we will address those restrictions or ceilings,” Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo said in a Dec. 4 interview. The bank’s international operations department will make the recommendations, he said.

Since 2007, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas has implemented several waves of currency reform including easing rules for foreign-currency purchases and loans. While the peso has fallen about 5 percent this year, it is still among the best performing Asian currencies with Indonesia’s rupiah and Malaysia’s ringgit losing more than 10 percent.

Governor Amando Tetangco in February said transparency and flexibility in foreign-exchange transactions help the market plan better and from experience, these policies have helped the central bank better manage external vulnerabilities.

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