LAWMAKERS have filed House Resolution 1464 urging the Congress to conduct an inquiry in aid of legislation into Maya Bank Inc. (MBI) they alleged has links to gambling applications.
House Deputy Majority Leader Erwin T. Tulfo and ACT-CIS Partylist Reps. Edvic G. Yap and Jocelyn P. Tulfo have raised concerns regarding the operations of MBI, which also offers mobile wallet services.
In his separate privileged speech last Tuesday, Tulfo said that it has come to his attention that MBI’s platform carries links to various gambling apps that openly allow subscribers to participate in gambling activities.
These gambling apps encompass games such as baccarat, poker, bingo, fruit games, and similar forms of gaming where subscribers can place bets through MBI’s mobile wallet services, the lawmaker said.
Tulfo said he firmly believes that these gambling links within MBI’s savings bank platform warrant a thorough probe by the House of Representatives.
“This question strikes at the core of our responsibility as lawmakers to protect the interests of the millions of subscribers who rely on [MBI] for their financial transactions and digital wallet needs,” the lawmaker added.
The primary objective is to protect the interests of Maya’s millions of subscribers and assess the legality and ethics of offering such services, the solon said.
Tulfo also asked whether the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is aware of MBI’s inclusion in its platform of links to gambling apps.
“This investigation will shed light on whether these gambling activities are conducted in compliance with our laws and regulations and whether they truly serve the best interests of our citizens,” Tulfo added.
The solon said there is a growing concern about whether regulators should permit the presence of gambling apps within the digital platform of a savings bank, considering the potential ramifications on financial stability and the welfare of consumers.
Presently, there are at least six digital banks that are permitted by the BSP to operate in the country. Tulfo said it’s only MBI that carries in its platform the links to gambling apps.
If these gambling apps are permitted by law, the lawmaker said it raises questions about the ability of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) to effectively check and monitor these apps and, if necessary, exercise its regulatory powers to ensure that they operate within the bounds of the law.
Tulfo said Congress should address these critical questions and concerns through appropriate legislative channels, emphasizing the importance of transparency, legality, and consumer protection within the rapidly evolving landscape of digital banking and financial services in the Philippines.