The Commission on Elections passed on a resolution preventing individuals to withdraw large sums from banks. The first-ever money ban aim to minimize the already rampantly practiced vote-buying.
The money ban embodied in Comelec Resolution 9688 promulgated on Tuesday, prohibits cash withdrawals from banks not exceeding to a P100,000 per day. The resolution deputizes the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas or BSP to disallow such huge over-the-counter withdrawals. Exemptions to the rules are withdrawals above P100,000 done through other means like checks and wire transfers. Credit card transactions are also allowed according to Comelec Chairman Atty. Sixto Brillantes during a press conference.
“This is a formal resolution of the Comelec deputizing the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to prohibit withdrawals of more than P100,000 per day,” Brillantes said. “Withdrawals above P100,000 done through other means such as checks and wire transfers will not be prohibited,” he added.
The resolution will be implemented starting today until the election day (May 8 to 13).
One of the provisions of the resolution also prohibits the transporting and possession of P500,000 cash because this would serve as a presumption that the money would be used for vote buying. Thus, all existing Comelec checkpoints are directed to conduct a 24-hour money ban checkpoint, in addition to the gun ban checkpoint.
Money ban against bank secrecy law – BSP
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) in a statement said that while it supports the Comelec’s bid for a clean and honest elections, it believes that such limits may not be the best way to prevent vote buying. Further, limiting cash withdrawals and check clearing beyond P100,000 may disrupt normal business and commercial transactions in the Philippines. The BSP also said that it may violet bank secrecy laws.
In an interview with Umagang Kayganda, Brillantes said that the money ban will not affect trade and commerce. He said that big establishments usually transact using checks. Implementation can also be flexible. He said that a particular bank can permit withdrawals more than the allowable amount if the client is known to make transactions on a regular basis.
To address his critics, Brillantes said that only a temporary restraining order (TRO) from the Supreme Court can prevent its implementation.
Do you want to contribute a story? Please send your article or post through e-mail.