Philippines Securities Regulator Seeks Comment on Draft Crypto Rules

The Securities and Exchange Commission of the Philippines is consulting the public on draft enforcement rules targeting crypto under a broad consumer protections law.

The regulator published its plans for implementing rules and regulations set out in the Financial Products and Services Consumer Protection Act approved by former President Rodrigo R. Duterte last May. While the act does not name individual financial services or products, the SEC's draft of rules for implementation, published Jan. 20, includes crypto in its classification of securities.

"Securities shall include 'tokenized securities products' or those which grew with the abstraction of key characteristics from cryptocurrency’s underlying distributed ledger technology to apply in the traditional financial sector," the draft said.

Crypto adoption in the Philippines skyrocketed in 2022 on the tail end of the bull market that closed with multiple high-profile bankruptcies, and regulators in the country have been moving to clamp down on the industry.

"It is the policy of the State to ensure that appropriate mechanisms are in place to protect the interest of consumers of financial products and services under the conditions of transparency, fair and sound market conduct, and fair, reasonable, and effective handling of financial consumer disputes, which are aligned with global best practices," the draft says.

The country's Market Securities and Registration Department (MSRD) will be tasked with supervising entities offering securities or related services.

The SEC's draft law is open for public comment through Feb. 7.

Read more: Southeast Asia Leads the World in Crypto Adoption, Propelled by Play-to-Earn Gaming: Chainalysis