Duterte opens OFW bank


PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte led the launching of the Overseas Filipino Bank on Thursday, more than three months after he signed an executive order creating it.

The Overseas Filipino Bank is meant to provide financial and remittance services tailored to the needs of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families.

President Rodrigo Duterte gestures as he opens the Overseas Filipino Bank at Liwasang Bonifacio in Manila on Thursday. PHOTO BY JOHN MICAH SEBASTIAN

It will offer a wide range of banking products — from deposits, loans and investments, to remittances and payment services — that matches the needs of OFWs.

In his speech during the launch, Duterte said he was happy that he was able to live up to his campaign promises.

Among his vows was to create the OFW bank to provide improved and efficient services for Filipinos overseas, as well as for their families.

“Mga kababayan ko, I made simple promises during the election. I am not into politics but I would just like to remind you that I kept my campaign very simple, with about four basic fundamental promises and I am very happy that mukhang naibigay ko sa inyo (I fulfilled my campaign promises),” the President said.

In September, Duterte issued Executive Order 44 approving the acquisition of the Philippine Postal Savings Bank (PPSB) by the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP).

The acquisition allowed the Land Bank to convert the PPSB to an Overseas Filipino Bank.

The Land Bank was directed to acquire the PPSB through transfer of shares and its subsequent conversion into an Overseas Filipino Bank, subject to the approval or clearance of the BSP, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp. (PDIC) and the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC).

The Philippine Postal Corp., the mother company of the PPSB, and Bureau of the Treasury were instructed to transfer all their shares in PPSB to Land Bank at zero value.

The PPSB was ordered to expedite the transfer of all assets, liabilities, records, systems and other related items to Land Bank.

Duterte also ordered the Land Bank to infuse capital into the Overseas Filipino Bank.

Duterte said there was a need to push for a policy bank that would provide efficient services for migrant Filipinos.

“Overseas-based Filipinos, who contribute to the country’s foreign exchange income, currency stability, employment and overall economic growth through their remittances should be given provision of priority support for their growing financial needs,” Duterte said in EO 44.

“There is a need to establish a policy bank dedicated to provide financial products and services tailored to the requirements of overseas Filipinos, and focused on delivering quality and efficient foreign remittance services,” he added.


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