The Rules and Legalities Surrounding Forex Trading in the Philippines


From a global perspective, the forex market is a vast and lucrative entity, and one that sees an estimated $6.6 trillion traded every single day.

Despite this, some regions continue to take an adversarial view of forex trading, while even countries that have embraced this practice deploy stringent regulations and guidelines. The Philippines belongs to the former camp, despite the nation’s rise to prominence as a key economic hub in Southeast Asia.

But what are the precise rules and regulations surrounding forex trading in the Philippines, and what steps can aspiring traders take to enter this marketplace? Let’s find out.

Forex Trading and the Philippines – A Brief History

Despite facing numerous global uncertainties, the Philippine economy remained strong throughout 2019 and grew by an estimated 5.8% during the year.

Of course, the region’s growth has been interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, and this will undoubtedly lower the forecast of 6.1% growth for 2020. However, it cannot be denied that the region’s increasingly diverse economy has boosted growth in Southeast Asia, with this trend set to continue in the longer-term.

As the region has grown, it has seen a larger number of people become interested in accumulating wealth and engaging in forex trading.

However, many have found that the Philippines’ Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) continues to take an adversarial stance against forex trading in recent times, following increased instances of fraud and a series of heavy losses incurred by traders.

In fact, these events have caused the SEC to issue various warnings to discourage aspiring forex trading in recent years, even going as far to declare this practice illegal in some instances.

The most recent of these interventions saw the SEC systematically reduce all foreign exchange operations in April, at the initial height of the coronavirus outbreak and the nationwide lockdown.

This approach is unlikely to change in the near-term either, especially with the Philippines having recorded 4,686 new cases at the beginning of the week and facing the prospect of a further national lockdown.

What are the Forex Rules and Regulations in the Philippines?

 As we can see, forex trading is currently restricted in the Philippines, and not strictly legal according to national law.

However, the law is also vague and decidedly complex, and in some respects it mirrors the restrictions placed on the online gambling sector.

More specifically, while the legislation dictates that locals won’t be able to find a domestic broker that enables them to legally trade currencies, there’s nothing that prohibits interested parties from accessing a host of derivative assets through an international platform.

It’s also interesting to note that the number of forex brokers who accept customers from the Philippines has increased markedly of late, particularly as the region has enjoyed sustained and exponential economic growth.

Similarly, these brokers tend to accept payments from a diverse range of methods, so it’s easier than ever to trade currencies from the Philippines so long as you have access to an Internet-connected and enabled device.

So, if you want to start trading currencies from your base in the Philippines, you simply need to browse the market for a reputable international broker, while also determining a viable payment method and downloading an available app or platform that’s fully compatible.

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