Overseas Filipino Bank launched

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President Rodrigo Duterte gives a thumbs up outside the Overseas Filipino Bank at Liwasang Bonifacio in Manila. (Presidential photo)

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte led Thursday’s launching of the Overseas Filipino Bank, which aims to cater to the needs of the millions of overseas Filipino workers.

“I’m happy now that I have made my promise to you my kababayan overseas Filipino workers,” President Duterte said his speech at the launching at the Liwasang Bonifacio in Manila.

Duterte signed Executive Order No. 44 in September last year directing state-owned Land Bank of the Philippines to acquire the Philippine Postal Bank and convert it to the OFBank.

Accompanied by OFBank chairman and Land Bank president & CEO Alex Buenaventura and Cabinet members, Duterte led the unveiling of the OFBank logo.

Duterte underscored the government’s commitment to protect and uphold the welfare of the OFWs.

“Through the Overseas Filipino Bank, we gave back what is due our kababayan abroad through a bank specially dedicated to servicing their banking and financing requirements,” he said.

He thanked Secretaries Silvestre Bello III of Labor and Employment, Carlos Dominguez of Finance, and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Nestor Espenilla as well as LBP officials for working hard to come up with a bank that would address the needs of the OFWs, who remain one of the economic growth drivers of the Philippines with total remittances reaching $26.9 billion in 2016 or 5.5 percent higher compared to previous year.

“It would not be enough to pay tribute to a large segment of our society that is almost responsible and a constant factor in our GDP (gross domestic product),” Duterte said.

OFBank, a wholly-owned Savings Bank subsidiary of LBP, is dedicated to provide financial products and services tailored to the needs of OFWs. It will offer 15 banking products and services ranging from deposit, loans and investment to payment and remittance to OFWs and their beneficiaries.

Aside from Peso ATM savings, time deposit and checking accounts, OFBank is also developing the Future Need Savings Plan to help OFWs develop the habit of saving.

OFWs and their beneficiaries can also apply for loans to build homes, start business and for emergency needs, and pay from abroad their SSS, OWWA, PhilHealth dues, insurance premiums, credit cards, telephone and water bills, housing and business loans, and even tuition fees.

For its domestic operations, the OFBank will operate through one NCR branch in Liwasang Bonifacio in Manila and through 423 LBP branches and extension offices nationwide.