Thursday July 19, 2018

'Overseas Filipino Bank will offer convenience, more funds'

OVERSEAS Filipino workers from Eastern Visayas believe that the establishment of the Overseas Filipino Bank (OFB) will not only spell convenience for them in remitting money to their families but will also mean more government resources to meet their needs.

Vinyl Oquiño, 42, a professor of Adama Science and Technology University in Ethiopia for five years, said Thursday, October 12, that the state-run bank will benefit more from foreign remittance fee instead of the private banks.

“More income for the government would mean more resources to help address the needs of OFWs,” Oquiño said in a message sent to PNA via Facebook.

Oquiño has been paying USD35 to the bank every time he sends money to his family in Tanauan, Leyte.

“Imagine the amount the government will be able to generate through OFW Bank,” he added.

Although almost all banks offer micro-financing services, state-run banks are in a better position to fulfill its promise since it is backed by taxes, he said.

Donabelle Bote, 28, a hotel worker in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, said she is looking forward to opening an account in OFW Bank.

“I think it will be easier and cheaper for me to send money home with this new bank intended to serve overseas-based workers,” said Bote, who has been working abroad for five years.

She spends about P500 to P600 monthly for sending P15,000 to her parents in Burauen, Leyte.

Bote thanked President Rodrigo Duterte for fulfilling his campaign promise of establishing a bank catering to OFWs.

On September 28, 2017, Duterte signed Executive Order (EO) 44 converting the Philippine Postal Savings Bank (PPSB) into a bank that will deliver microfinance and micro-insurance products and services to the OFWs.

Through EO 44, the PPSB will be acquired by the Land Bank of the Philippines and will be converted into the OFB.

"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," the EO read.

"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," it added. (PNA)