AS some banks are set to resume collecting online transaction fees via InstaPay tomorrow, October 1, Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan on Wednesday asked government to suspend or reduce these fees until the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Pataas pa rin ang kaso ng nagkakasakit ng COVID. Kailangan pa ring tutukan ang kaligtasan ng ating mamamayan. Habang di pa humuhupa ang pagkalat ng COVID, mas mainam kung suspindehin o babaan muna ang pagkolekta ng mga online transaction fees,” Pangilinan said.
“The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas should step in and suspend or slash the online transaction fees during this health emergency,” he added.
Pangilinan said the suspension or lowering of these fees would help the many who are struggling due to job losses or reduced incomes.
“Milyon ang nawalan ng trabaho dahil sa COVID at lockdowns. Malaking tulong yung pagsuspindi o pagbaba ng online transaction fees,” Pangilinan said.
“May kwento sa akin, may isang labandera dito sa Metro Manila na sole breadwinner ngayon dahil nawalan ng trabaho ang mister. Nagpapadala siya ng pera sa Masbate para makapag-aral yung mga anak niya. Pag nagkataon daw, pangkain pa sana nila sa tanghalian yung transaction fee,” he said.
InstaPay is an electronic fund transfer service that allows the transfer Philippine peso funds between accounts of participating BSP-supervised banks and non-bank e-money issuers in the country.
Banks initially waived online transaction fees voluntarily. The BSP later urged all entities under its regulation to waive such fees to encourage the public to use online banking to help slow down the spread of COVID-19.
According to the non-government think-tank Infrawatch, some banks will resume collecting such fees October 1 after suspending it at the start of the pandemic, while others will continue to waive such fees until the end of the year.