• Riding on its momentum of growth

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    FLUSHED with the momentum of growth as the country’s second biggest savings and loan association, Air Materiel Wing Savings and Loan Association Inc. (AMWSLAI) assured on Wednesday that all its transactions “are above board and within the confines” of the regulations of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) amid scrutiny conducted by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on the P10-billion “pork barrel” scam.

    Reports have flooded pertaining to Janet Lim-Napoles, the alleged mastermind behind the “pork barrel” scam, alleging that she had more than P500 million in deposits in loan cooperatives under her name, and her family who are running dummy non-government organizations (NGOs).

    “All accounts are duly reported as covered transactions in compliance with the reporting requirements of the Anti-Money Laundering Council [AMLC],” AMWSLAI President Ricardo Nolasco Jr. said.

    Nolasco said that Section 6 of Republic Act 8367, and Act Providing for the Regulation of the Organization and Operation of Non-Stock Savings and Loan Associations, “prohibits the disclosure of deposits and such accounts can be examined only upon orders of a competent court.”

    “This is the reason we cannot react or comment on publications involving certain accounts with AMWSLAI,” he said.

    “AMWSLAI would like to assure that all deposits and other transactions are prudently managed to the best interest of its members and of the association,” he stressed.

    Section 6 of RA 8367 on the prohibition against inquiry into or disclosure of deposits states: “All deposits of whatever nature with an Association in the Philippines are hereby considered as of an absolutely confidential nature and may not be examined, inquired or looked into by any person, government official, bureau or office, except upon written permission of the depositor, or in cases of impeachment, or upon order of a competent court in cases of bribery or dereliction of duty of public officials, or in cases where the money deposited or invested is the subject matter of litigation. It shall be unlawful for any official or employee of an Association to disclose to any person any information concerning said deposits, except in the cases mentioned in the preceding paragraph of this section. Any official or employee of an Association who violates this section shall be punished under Republic Act 1405 [the Law on the Secrecy of Bank Deposits], as amended.”

    From its very modest beginning in 1956 where a handful of men and women of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) pooled their meager resources and raised P5,000 as seed money, AMWSLAI has evolved into the second largest savings and loan association with total resources of P28 billion championing the morale and economic well-being of its 207,000 members consisting of active and retired personnel of the Armed
    Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police and their dependents.

    Earlier, the BSP had underscored the “impressive financial” performance of the country’s non-stock savings and loan associations (NSSLA) as it rallied the members to safeguard the growth momentum of the industry.

    Managing Director Chuchi Fonacier of the BSP’s Supervision and Examination Sub-Sector II said that as of June 30, 2012 “the prospects of the NSSLA industry remain favorable as a result of positive asset and credit expansion.”

    AMWSLAI is a member of the Confederation of Non-Stock Savings and Loan Associations (Consla). Nolasco, a retired colonel in the PAF, is also the president of Consla.

    The increase in Consla members’ capital and deposit liabilities “continued to drive the growth in their resources,” said Fonacier who was guest in this year’s Consla convention in Baguio City.

    “There was a marked improvement in loan and asset quality accompanied by enhanced loss provisioning. Likewise, the industry posted higher profit as well as ample liquidity and solvency,” she said.

    Citing a BSP report, Fonacier said that Consla members’ “capital grew by 9.5 percent from P84.0 billion a year ago [2011] to P92.0 billion and captured the bulk of resources at 78.0 percent [up from 77.7 percent].”

    Jomar Canlas

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