MIM Pawnshop Skills and Services offers BSP Licensed Pawnshop Auction Services

Presidential Decree No. 114, also known as the “Pawnshop Regulation Act,” sets forth a series of regulations for a pawnshop auction. These regulations are in Secion 15, which is titled “Public auction of pawned articles.” Among the regulations is one that requires all pawnshop auction to be “…under the control and direction of an auctioneer with license duly issued by the corresponding authorities…” In this case the corresponding authority is The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). In other words an auction must be “under the control and direction” of an auctioneer licensed by the BSP. Or even more simply, a set of books from a pawnshop must be signed off by an auctioneer licensed by the BSP.

There are not many licensed pawnshop auctioneers in the Philippines at this time. Fortunately, for my clients, I am licensed by the BSP to sign auction books. I do this at the most competitive price in the Philippines. My price is P150 per pawnshop branch and I can sign auction books in any province. If you are having trouble with pawnshop auction compliance at a reasonable price –  contact me for help.

Pawner Rights: The Handbook on Consumer Laws

The Handbook on Consumer Laws published by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) lays out some of the basic rights of a pawner when dealing with a pawnshop. MIM publishes them here as guidance for pawners and suggest all pawners know their rights. Also be aware that these may not be the only rights pawners have under BSP regulations.

Pawnshop Transactions

Section 4303P, MORNBFI*:

gives the right of the pawner to renew his loan for such amount and period as may be agreed upon between the pawnshop and the pawner, subject to conditions provided by the MORNBFI; it further gives the right of the pawner who fails to pay or renew his obligation to redeem his pawn ninety (90) days from the date of maturity by paying the principal amount of the loan plus the amount of interest that shall have accrued thereon

Section 4322P, MORNBFI:

requires the following information to be disclosed in the pawn ticket:

  1. amount of the principal loan;
  2. interest rate in percent;
  3. period of maturity;
  4. description of the pawn;
  5. expiry date of redemption period; and
  6. such other terms and conditions as may be agreed upon between the pawnshop and the pawner

Section 4323P, MORNBFI

requires the pawnshop to notify the pawner in writing on or before the expiration of the ninety (90)-day grace period:

  1. that the pawn shall be sold or otherwise disposed of in the event that the pawner fails to redeem the pawn within the ninety (90) – day grace period; and
  2. the date, hour and place where the sale shall take place

It further provides that the pawnshop may sell or dispose of the pawn only after it has published a notice of public auction of unredeemed articles held as security for loans in at least two (2) newspapers circulated in the city or municipality where the pawnshop has its place of business, six (6) days prior to the date set for the public auction. In remote areas where newspapers are neither published nor circulated, the publication shall be complied with by posting notices at the city hall or municipal building of the city or municipality and in two (2) other conspicuous public places where the pawnshop has its place of business.

Section 4324P, MORNBFI

requires public auctions to be held either at the pawnshop’s place of business or any public place within the territorial limits of the municipality or city where the pawnshop conducts its business

Section 4182P, MORNBFI

No pawnshop shall close or transfer its place of business within three (3) months following the maturity of any loan or pledge, or before any pawn shall have been sold or disposed of

*Manual of Regulations Non-Bank Financial Institution


  1. Handbook on Consumer Laws. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas 13 2007. SES Consumer Affairs Unit. Page 12-13.


Pawnshop owners should be ready for stricter BSP regulation enforcement

1995 BSP data shows the total number of pawnshops in the Philippines was 4,173. More recent BSP data shows that the total number of pawnshops in the Philippines rose to 14,800 in the fourth quarter of 2009 from 13,493 [1] in the first quarter of 2008. That is a spectacular rise.

But with growth comes attention. In the case of pawnshops, that attention is now coming from regulatory agencies of the Philippine Government. To put the rise in pawnshops in between the first-quarter of 2008 and the end of 2009 in perspective we may have to look beyond the numbers.

As this January 2009 philstar.com article points out, The BSP began a mapping operation of pawnshops a couple of years ago to determine the number of unregistered pawnshops in the Philippines. These BSP inspections suggested that 26 percent of all pawnshops were unregistered. So in reality, about one-quarter of the pawnshops that registered with the BSP in 2008 and 2009 may have been pawnshops that were in existence but not registered. Once the BSP inspections began many unregistered pawnshops rushed to register to avoid BSP sanctions. That may account for a portion of the rise in pawnshops in the official BSP numbers for 2009.

In addition to finding unregistered pawnshops, The BSP inspections also suggested that about one- third of pawnshops inspected “were found to have violated rules and regulations such as failure to require signature of customers in the pawnshops’ registers, which could abet fencing; failure to attend…”

Pawnshops owners would be well-advised to consider this regulatory action by the BSP as a permanent drive to not only gets fly-by-night pawnshops registered but to begin stricter enforcement of all pawnshop regulations. The BSP will now use an integrated approach with the help of other government agencies and local governments.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the Department of Interior and Local Governments as well as local government units would monitor thousands of pawnshops nationwide to prevent fencing, money laundering and other criminal activities, officials said yesterday.

Pawnshop owners have now been put on notice by the BSP that stricter regulation is coming. Do not be caught unaware. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of pawnshop owners to know what the laws are that govern pawnshops and to comply with them.


  1. Report on Economic and Financial Developments. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. Fourth Quarter 2009

The Marcos jewelry collection is now a Philippine national treasure. Let’s keep it.

The history behind the Marcos jewelry collection doesn’t matter. Neither do the personalities behind it. Both the history and the personalities are from a sad era that is now passed. The only thing that matters now is that the jewelry collection is in the possession of the Philippine Government.  I think this is where it should stay permanently as a possession of the Philippine people.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has decided to leave the sale of jewelry to the incoming administration. I support this decision for my own reasons regardless of the reasons given in the press. There have been attempts to sell the jewelry collection for some 10 years now. The jewelry collection, said to be worth P15 billion, includes a ruby pendant, a 100-carat diamond necklace and other valuable pieces. But jewelry appraisals prices have risen dramatically in value in the past ten years and in five years the collection appraisal price could double. In 10 years it could double again.

Today Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel F. Zubiri strongly suggested the Marcos jewelry collection could be lent to the National Museum for viewing by all citizens rather than auctioned off. I like that idea.

The Marcos jewelry collection is now in the possession of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and is being held in a vault.

A brief overview of the role of pawnshops in the Philippines

Our parents used to tell us: the moment you start earning, buy some jewelry and other properties.  You can pawn them whenever you encounter financial difficulties.   Mario Lamberte – 1988.

Pawnshops offer financial services known as microlending which is an important source of credit in many developing countries, especially in Asia. Pawnshops fill a void left by the banking system. They provide poor and low-income households with credit that would have not otherwise have been available and increase competition in the credit markets by providing an alternative source of credit for those who are frozen out of loans from banks. This has served as a financial safety net for the poor and low-income households.

Pawnshops can provide these financial services to poor and low-income households for a variety of reasons.  One is that pawnshops fall under less regulation than other financial institutions.

Pawnshops used to operate like a sari-sari store with very little government control. In fact the only time these units came into contact with government agencies was when they paid business registration fees and income taxes. They were not even covered by the usury law enacted in 1916.    Mario Lamberte – 1988.

Beginning in 1972, The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP), known as the Central Bank in 1973.was given the authority and responsibility to regulate pawnshops. Presidential Decree 114 (29 January 1973) and the Central Bank Circular No. 374 (13 July 1973) set out specific regulations covering the operations of pawnshops.

Pawnshops are still among the least regulated businesses that fall under the authority the BSP. Under the BSP‘s regulations pawnshops are authorized to lend, but cannot accept deposits and are required to submit regular financial reports. The BSP has financial audit authority over pawnshops and can inspect book records and general business practices. It also has the authority to sanction a pawnshop.

Although in 2009, the BSP did issue a new, more stringent, set of rules that will govern all pawnshops operating throughout the country. The new rules will replace the existing implementing rules and regulations of Presidential Decree No. 114 also known as the Pawnshop Regulation Act issued in 1973.

The new rules are designed to enhance consumer protection and foster confidence in the pawnshop industry by the pawning public.  For instance, proprietors, partners, incorporators, directors, stockholders and officers of pawnshops must meet certain “fit and proper” standards to ensure that pawnshops are owned and run by people without any derogatory record and to promote good governance.  Pawnshops are now required to maintain a minimum level of capital or net worth in relation to their loan portfolio as the existing statutory capital of P100,000 has become too small and it is susceptible to the proliferation of “fly-by-night” operators.

Another reason pawnshops can provide these financial services to poor and low-income households is that their loans are backed by hard assets which lowers the transaction cost to the borrower and the lender and eliminates the need to analyze the borrower’s creditworthiness.

Over time the pawn item has changed. In the past, for example, Mario Lamberte noted (1988) that “pawnshops have preferred lees bulky items high-value items like jewelry. With the advent of more competition pawnshops have broadened the type of items they accept as collateral” (page 14). This change continues today with the acceptance of computers, cell phones and other electronic devices as collateral.

Because of the efficiency of pawnshop operations, they have been shown to be a profitable business.  A study for the Philippine Institute for Development indicates that efficient management of pawnshops allows 25% of the gross operating income to flow to the bottom line as net profits (Lamberte, 1988).

The pawnshop industry in the Philippines has seen spectacular growth. This growth has largely been attributable to (1) the role that pawnshops serve in filling a demand that is not being filled by the more traditional banking system: It gets credit to those who don’t have access to traditional bank loans and (2) pawnshops operate with large profit margins. This has not gone unnoticed by small entrepreneurs and job seekers in the Philippines as they have flocked to the pawnshop industry.  


  1. BSP Approves New Rules for Pawnshops, The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), May 4, 2009. http://www.bsp.gov.ph/publications/media.asp?id=2063&yr=2009
  2. Lamberte, Mario. An Analysis of the Role of Pawnshops in the Financial System. Manila: Working Paper Series no. 88-07, Philippine Institute for Development Studies, June 1998, 36 pp. http://www3.pids.gov.ph/ris/wp/pidswp8804.pdf



Starting a Pawnshop Business Print E-mail
Written by Pinoy Entrepreneur, on 17-08-2008
There’s still much space for expansion in the pawnshop business in the Philippines. Jean Henri D. Lhuillier, of Cebuana Lhuillier Pawnshop Companies, recently mentioned that “there is still room for expansion in the Philippines and the company is in fact growing by an average of 3% to 5% a year.” This room for expansion is on top of the enormous growth in this industry. Pawnshops have multiplied in number in recent years and have been posting fast-paced growth in terms of operations and revenues, which gave rise to a proposal to enact a new law regulating pawnshops (the existing law is PD 114). 

The figures stated in the press release in connection with that bill reveals the following very interesting details:

Based on data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), pawnshops provided a total of P10.1 billion worth of loans at the end of 2004 or almost double from the P5.5 billion worth of loans they extended in 1995.

As of November last year, according to BSP, there are 11,942 pawnshops operating in the country from only 4,173 pawnshops 10 years ago or in 1995. Furthermore, pawnshops’ total assets stood at P14.6 billion at the end of 2004, from only P7.7 billion in 1995. Moreover, pawnshops consolidated capital base considerably increased from P4.2 billion in 1995 to P7.7 billion in 2004.

How to register a pawnshop. A sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation may operate a pawnshop. The business entity must first be registered with the DTI (for sole proprietorship) or the SEC (for partnerships and corporations).The certificate of registration and other documents are then submitted to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). The filing/processing fee is P1,000. Of course, that does not include the filing fees for the SEC and the Mayor’s Office (for the Mayor’s Permit or business license). Provide for sufficient time up to the planned opening because papers will shuttle back and forth between the SEC and the BSP. The checklist of requirements on  how to start a pawnshop business are posted at the BSP site.

Growth of pawnshops reflective of economy? Many, if not most, of us will have financial emergencies that can’t be covered by the existing savings. We borrow from relatives and friends, if we’re lucky. If not, we borrow from banks and similar financial institutions, but the lag time in processing the loan is foreign to the term “emergency”. One of the fastest way to procure money (no, not stealing), is through pawnshops. According to the same press release: “Pawnshops provide an alternative source of credit for small borrowers left unserved by banking and other financial institutions in the country, especially in cases of emergencies.” On the other hand, it could be said that the booming business reflects the current situation where the harsher economic life forces people to “pawn” properties just to have money for basic needs. Pawnshops may be one of those recession-proof businesses, but their proliferation may also be a warning sign of the economy’s health.

BSP Approved New Rules for Pawnshops in 2009

Another item from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) in 2009 that I believe deserves attention as we move into 2010 is that on April 30 the BSP approved a new set of rules to govern all pawnshops in the country.

According to the BSP, the new rules replace the existing implementing rules and regulations of Presidential Decree No. 114 also known as the Pawnshop Regulation Act issued in 1973.

The new BSP rules are designed to “enhance consumer protection and foster confidence in the pawnshop industry by the pawning public.” Some of the changes that are highlighted in the May 2009 media release are:

  • proprietors, partners, incorporators, directors, stockholders and officers of pawnshops must meet certain “fit and proper” standards to ensure that pawnshops are owned and run by people without any derogatory record and to promote good governance. 


  • Pawnshops are required to maintain a minimum level of capital or net worth in relation to their loan portfolio.  The existing statutory capital of P100,000 has become too small and it is susceptible to the proliferation of “fly-by-night” operators.


  • pawners have 90 days after maturity to redeem their pawned articles and pawnshops must notify their clients within the 90 day period before they can sell the pawned items in an auction.  For the convenience of pawners, the new rules will require them to indicate in the pawn ticket their preferred mode of receiving the notice, whether by mail or courier to a given address, or by SMS or text through a specified mobile phone.


  • pawnshops will be required to comply with explicit “Know Your Pawner” procedures consistent with the requirements of the Anti-Money Laundering Act and to address concerns on the Anti-Fencing Law. 


  • For transparency and to minimize malpractices, pawnshops will be required to post in their premises the Acknowledgement of Registration or Authority to Operate issued by the BSP, business days and hours of the pawnshop, their interest rate and charges for loans, among others.

The media release also points out that the “BSP signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Department of Interior and Local Governments on the sharing of information between BSP and the city and municipal government units to ensure that only those that have the proper business permits and registered with the BSP are transacting with the public.”

The official media release from the BSP is here.

technorati: UAHM8QDE9Y5C

Pawnshop Software

I was doing some searching under pawnshops today and I came across a website named Programming Pawnshops  that I want to share with you. The website is from a young entreprenuer in the Phillipines named Leslie Cagas who develops pawnshop software. I’ve been around pawnshops all my life but I must admit that pawnshop software is something I’m not expert in.  But with the advancement of technology it will play a role in the pawnshop industry just as it does in every other industry.

Mr. Cagas points out on his website that the forms from the BSP are not very electronically friendly. That is correct and at some futre point in time the BSP is going to be doing a lot of updating of its forms. When the BSP does get around to updating its forms software will be the key to it.  Mr Cagas has developed some easily usable electronic forms based on the BSP forms. I only offer Mr. Cagas’ forms as an example and must stress that I can’t endorse them as official BSP forms unless they are recognized by the BSP.  But they clearly show how software will become more important to the pawnshop industry.

Another way in which technology is already changing the nature of the pawnshop business is the proliferation of online pawnshops.  As I search the web I see more online pawnshops than ever before. I think this trend will continue if online pawnshops show that they can meet the needs of the customer by giving the them an honest transaction. And software is central to online websites.

Just as technology has changed every other industry it will change the pawnshop industry too. Just give it time. And young entrprenuers like Leslie Cagas will play a large role in that transition.

MIM Site Update

A talk during the event held at the Megatrade Hall of SM Megamall.

Participants had an opportunity to inquire more about MIM Pawnshop Skills and Services.

Participants learned about Jewelry Appraising and Pawnshop Operations.

I would like to take the opportunity to explain to my readers about the links I have added to the site. You can see the links down the right side of the page.

The first and most exciting link to me is the one to my new-found friends at The Pamilyang OFW-SME Network Foundation, Inc. I can’t even begin to tell you the hand of help they have extended to me. What began with a simple telephone call has evolved into to great friendship. The foundation has introduced me to many new contacts and opportunities and I have been a guest on their radio program and have given talks at their latest function. I won’t go into more detail now because I will be posting on some of the events I have participated with the foundation in the near future. For now i will leave you with their mission statement:

To be the most productive center for OFW and SME Families in the Philippines by providing job, livelihood, investment and business opportunities; and be recognized as a role model for public service.

That pretty much sums up The Pamilyang OFW-SME Network Foundation, Inc. I guarantee to you I could not say it any better.

I have added three Philipinne govenment links. Two, from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), are specifically pawnshop related. The BSP, of course, regulates pawnshops and their website has a wealth of information for those already involved, or for those who want to become involved, in the pawnshop business. The third Philippine Government site is the Republic of the Philippines. It is the site of the national government and has a wealth of information on any government issue you can think of.

Then there is the link to the Chamber of Pawnbrokers of the Philippines, Inc. (CPPI)The chamber is the only organization in the Philippines focused on solely on the aspects of the pawnshop business. They work hard to inform its members on all aspects of legislation, current and pending, that pertain to the pawnship industry. They represent the interests of its member pawnbrokers to the appropriate agencies like the Bangko Central.

Last, but not least, I have added the Manila Bulletin and two online Philippine directories. The two online directories are the Philippine Online Directory and the PhilippinesDirectory.net. At these links you can find all things Philippine.

BSP issues precautions against pawnshop malpractices

Looking back over the year there have been some notable actions that pawners would be well advised to be aware of. One is the June media realease by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to the public in general and pawners in particular. The BSP release titled “Warning: Be Aware of Pawnshop Malpractices” offers good precautions that pawners should pay attention to.

1. Deal only with a pawnshop that has a current business/mayor’s permit issued by the city or municipality where the pawnshop is located and that is registered with the BSP. A pawnshop that has no business/ mayor’s permit and that is not registered with the BSP is operating illegally.

2. Be sure to transact only inside the premises of the pawnshop.

3. Be aware of the interest rate and other charges, if any, collected by the pawnshop. Determine if such interest rate is yearly, monthly or daily. In addition to interest, pawnshops may collect service charge equivalent to 1% of the principal loan but should not exceed P5.00. However, other charges such as insurance and storage fees in the safekeeping of pawns should not be collected from the pawners.

4. Demand a pawn ticket which contains the terms and conditions of the loan.

5. Bear in mind the date of maturity of the obligation. A pawner has 90 days from the maturity of the loan to redeem the pawned item. The pawner should be notified before a pawned item will be sold in a public auction within the 90-day period, after which the public auction of the pawned item can take place.

6. If the pawnshop fails to return the pawned item when redeemed for certain reasons, e.g., it was lost due to robbery or hold-up, said pawnshop should have a police report on the incident that includes an inventory of all lost pawned items. The pawnshop must also submit to the BSP a Report on Crimes and Losses on the incident.

If the pawn is lost, destroyed or becomes defective due to a fortuitous event and without the fault of the pawnshop, the pawnshop may not be held accountable for the loss. However, if the loss, destruction or damage to the pawn was through the negligence or fault of the pawnshop, the pawner can file a claim against the pawnshop or file a case in court if he/she so desires.

Contact Regulatory Agencies

For inquiries regarding pawnshop’s operations/BSP registration, please contact the BSP
through the following:

Telephone: 523-1706 or
524-6929 or 523-2582 (Direct Lines)
524-7011 (Trunk Line)
locals 3017/3018/2653/2562
Mail: The Director
Supervision and Examination Department V
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas
A. Mabini St., Malate, Manila

b. For complaints against pawnshops, please contact the BSP Consumer Affairs Group through the following:

Telephone: 523-1706
or 524-6929 or 523-2582 (Direct Lines)
524-7011 (Trunk Line)
locals 3017/3018/2653/2562
Telephone: 523-3631 (Direct Line)
524-7011 local 2584 (Trunk Line)
Mail: The Manager
OSPD Consumer Affairs Group
Supervision and Examination Sector
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas
A. Mabini St., Malate, Manila


You can find the official BSP release here.