Press Release
August 15, 2019


Sen. Grace Poe vowed to immediately look into the plan to increase the fees for automated teller machine (ATM) transactions, saying it would further burden the hard-up Filipino workers.

Poe, chair of the Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions and Currencies, said the panel is prepared to conduct a public hearing on the matter upon referral of measures to the committee, including Senate Resolution No. 96, which she filed.

"Maliit na nga ang interes sa savings, pero ang laki naman ng kaltas mula sa balance inquiry hanggang sa withdrawal," Poe said.

"Kung tutuusin, para tayong nagpapahiram ng pera sa bangko kapag itinatabi natin ito sa ATM. Kung nagwi-withdraw tayo, kinukuha lang natin kung ano ang atin. Bakit ang laki ng kaltas sa bawat transaction, tapos may hiling pang dagdag ngayon?" she asked.

Reports have said that several banks have applied for higher ATM fees, between 36% to 50%, after the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) lifted the moratorium on ATM fee increases.

Regardless of the amount, Poe said in her resolution that an increase in bank charge is "disadvantageous to an estimated 4.1 million minimum-wage earners who would need to carry the burden of these fees as many of them receive their salaries through ATM cards and withdraw from these machines at least twice a month."

"The practice of imposing hefty bank fees, including ATM charges is financially disadvantageous to our country's more than 58 million ATM cardholders," she said.

Currently, bank charges range from P10 to P15 for interbank withdrawals and P2 for interbank balance inquiry.

Poe said she wants to know how much banks collect from these charges and why the customers are being made to shoulder the cost of what should be part of the banks' services.

She said she would also ask the BSP about its next course of action after the moratorium on ATM fees lapsed.

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