It’s who you know

MANILA, Philippines—Last week’s enactment of the new Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp. law had officials of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas smiling at their regulatory cousins with gritted teeth and wishing them congratulations through their noses.

Why? Because Congress gave PDIC all the perks that the Bangko Sentral had been asking for so long, but may never get. The benefits for the deposit insurer include immunity from suit for its officials, a tax-free status for the agency, a sovereign guarantee for all its insurance liabilities, and the coveted ability to scrutinize bank deposits, on top of an existing exemption from the salary standardization law.

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