Philippines - The FIST Act (Republic Act No. 11523): A Relief Measure for the Philippine Banking Industry

Republic Act No. 11523, also known as “An Act Ensuring Philippine Financial Industry Resiliency Against the COVID-19 Pandemic” (FIST Act)1, which seeks to assist banks and financial institutions (FIs) in dealing with the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, took effect on February 18, 2021 upon its publication in the Official Gazette and in a newspaper of general circulation. This law provides a legal framework for the full transfer of the bad loans and assets of banks by allowing them to clean their books and re-channel their resources to improve liquidity in the financial system.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), jointly with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Department of Finance, Bureau of Internal Revenue, and the Land Registration Authority, are tasked to issue implementing rules and regulations within 30 days from the effective date of the law.

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