MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday spearheaded the launching of the Overseas Filipino Bank (OFBank) which aims to cater to the needs of more than 10 million Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).
“I’m happy now that I have made my promise to you my kababayans overseas Filipino workers,” President Duterte said his speech during OFBank launching at the Liwasang Bonifacio in Manila.
In line with his promise to OFWs, Duterte signed Executive Order No. 44 in September last year directing the state-owned Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) to acquire Philippine Postal Bank and convert it to OFBank.
Accompanied by OFBank Chairman and Land Bank President & CEO Alex Buenaventura and his Cabinet members, the President led the unveiling of OFBank logo to the delight of the OFWs in attendance.
Duterte underscored the government’s commitment to protect and uphold the welfare of the OFWs who are considered the country’s modern day heroes.
“Through the Overseas Filipino Bank, we gave back what is due our kababayans abroad through a bank specially dedicated to servicing their banking and financing requirements,” Duterte said.
He thanked his Secretaries — Silvestre Bello III of Labor and Employment, Carlos Dominguez of Finance and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Gov. Nestor Espenilla as well as LBP officials for working hard to come up with a bank that would address the needs of the OFWs.
The OFWs remain as one of the economic growth drivers of the Philippines with their total remittance reaching USD26.9 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),” the President said.
The OFBank, now 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 the 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.
Through OFBank, OFWs and their beneficiaries can apply for loans to build homes, start business and for emergency needs.
OFWs can also pay from abroad their SSS, OWWA, PhilHealth dues, insurance premiums, credit cards, telephone and water bills, housing and business loans, and even tuition fees through OFBank.
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. (PNA)
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