GenSan pushes regulation of forex trading activities

GENERAL SANTOS CITY -- The city government is pushing for the proper regulation of foreign currency exchange or forex trading and other related investment systems as it moves to protect investors from fraudulent practices.

Geraldine Zamora, head of the city permits and licensing division, said Monday they are set to coordinate with concerned national government agencies regarding the licensing and regulatory policies on the matter.

She said since last year, the local government has issued at least 10 business permits to entities engaged in forex trading, which are conducted online or through the internet.

The official said there is currently no law nor government policy or guidelines that govern forex trading and it is considered illegal in the country.  

But she said forex trading is already legal in a number of countries and with established companies engaged in it.

In an advisory dated Oct. 30, 2018, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) declared that "foreign exchange trading is illegal in the Philippines" and advised the public to stop engaging and investing in foreign-registered investment platforms.

Zamora said, however, that a number of private entities engaging in forex trading have emerged these past months in the city and other areas in the country.

"Since they are already existing, it's about time that the government should come up with regulatory policies," she said in a radio interview.

Zamora said some forex trading entities based in the city have already reached out to the local government and wanted their operations to be legalized.

One of them, the Metro GenSan Credit Cooperative, proposed for the passage of a city ordinance regarding forex trading including the establishment of control mechanisms, creation of a foreign currency registration office and chamber of foreign currency traders.

The cooperative pushed for the professionalization of forex traders through an examination and certification system.

Zamora said they are seriously considering the proposal and "ideas" submitted by Metro GenSan "so we can protect the welfare of investors and allow the government to generate additional income."

She said the local government will make some clarifications with concerned agencies on how to handle the matter.

In the meantime, she said they have stopped issuing business permits to forex trading entities on orders from City Mayor Ronnel Rivera.

Zamora, however, said they decided to retain the permits of the existing 10 entities, which will be used as basis for their coordination with the national government offices. (PNA)

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