Philippines’ Securities and Exchange Commission  (SEC) is to set up an office unit, PhiliFintech Innovation Office (PIO), under the  Corporate Governance and Finance Department (CGFD) to oversee the fintech Industry and focus on the regulation of the use of financial technology, in the Philippines. The PIO to be at the helm of building an enabling regulatory environment for fintech.

The office is to promote financial inclusion and protect consumers and investors. It is to close the gaps in consumer and investor protection tempered by financial inclusion, integrity, and stability by focusing on the regulation and growth of fintech activities. The PIO is mandated to create better-informed policies for new and existing fintech innovators and capacitate the SEC with expertise to effectively regulate fintech activities and promote an innovative culture in the corporate sector.

A teamwork between PIO and an appropriate agency will hasten the registration of new fintech companies. This will also mean the first point of contact for already existing yet unregulated or unauthorized fintech companies or those who are yet to launch new fintech products.

The SEC has issued rules and regulations in response to new technologies that emerged in the market and is also developing rules to govern digital asset offerings and digital asset exchanges to protect investors and give them multiple options.

In an effort to manage the risks that may come with new and emerging business concepts and innovation, the Commission plans to embed safeguards in every policy action to intensify enforcement and education campaigns to protect investors and financial consumers.

Integral to our mission of championing the business sector, the capital market, and the investing public, is fostering innovation,” SEC chairperson, Mr. Emilio Benito Aquino said in a statement.

PIO is responsible for documenting, analysing and comprehending fintech business models and their potential impacts on the market and its participants which will enhance formulation and implementation of regulatory responses aimed at protecting investors and market participants while also promoting the growth of fintech firms.

A global study shows that, Philippines is ranked 48th out of 110 countries based on a set of five fundamental digital wellbeing pillars. The rankings are based on the third annual edition of the Digital Quality of Life Index (DQL), which included data from 90% of the world’s population. Overall, the Philippines is seen to have improved significantly compared to the DQL 2020, rising from 66th to 48th and surpassing Indonesia.

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