• BSP closes Syrian pound currency exchange facility

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    The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Friday announced the closing of Syrian pound (SYP) currency exchange facility (CEF), noting that no SYP to peso conversion shall be accepted starting January 25.

    “Starting 25 January 2014, the BSP Cash Department, regional offices/branches and AABs [authorized agent banks]shall no longer accept SYP for conversion to pesos,” the BSP said in a statement.

    The CEF is an initiative of the BSP to provide immediate liquidity assistance to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families repatriated from Syria because of the political conflict in the country.

    The SYP CEF was initially established for a period of four months from January 30, 2013, up to May 30, 2013. However, because of the continuing political conflict in Syria, the BSP reopened the facility for a period of six months starting from July 28, 2013, up to January 24, 2014.

    The SYP CEF allowed returning OFWs and their family members to exchange SYP for Philippine peso with BSP’s head office, regional offices and branches, as well as AABs up to a maximum equivalent of P10,000 each person.

    To date, the central bank has assisted thousands of OFWs under five CEFs: 1990 (Kuwait-Iraq war); 2003 (US-Iraq war); 2006 (Israel-Hezbollah conflict); 2011 (Libyan and Syrian conflict); and 2013 (Egyptian conflict).

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