• Draft order for OFW Bank under review

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    A draft for an Executive Order (EO) creating a remittance bank that will specifically cater to overseas Filipinos have been submitted for President Rodrigo Duterte’s review, according to the Finance department.

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    “We were able to submit the draft EO in first week of September. We are ahead of schedule as we were expecting it to be submitted sometime in October,” Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd said in an interview.

    He explained that an EO will be needed to execute the Land Bank of the Philippines’ acquisition of the Philippine Postal Savings Bank (PostalBank) and rebrand it as the Overseas Filipinos Bank.

    “We need an Executive Order to execute the transfer of the bank from its current shareholders to the LandBank,” Dominguez said.

    “We are also proposing that the name be changed to Overseas Filipinos Bank from OFW Bank so that it is more inclusive and not only focused on workers,” he added.

    The Finance chief said that besides the remittance program, the bank would also offer loan programs for Filipinos abroad who are returning and would like to start businesses, build their homes or educate their beneficiaries here.

    Earlier, LandBank President Alex Buenaventura said the lender’s board had approved a a zero-value purchase of PostalBank.

    In June, Dominguez said PostalBank had a negative value of P580 million.

    The Overseas Filipinos Bank will have marketing officers located at consular offices abroad to service banking requirements of overseas Filipinos.

    Simultaneously, the bank, which will require a billion-peso capitalization, will also have to get approval from the central bank’s Monetary Board.

    A pilot test would be conducted in Dubai in January, to be followed by Bahrain, most likely by April next year.

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