Overseas Filipino Bank to be operational by January 2018

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Workers line up for overseas jobs at the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) office in Manila on November 2, 2011. AFP

THE NEWLY created Overseas Filipino Bank (OFB) will be operational by January 2018, Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III assured yesterday. The former Philippine Postal Savings Bank (PPSB). “We will have an OF bank effective January 2018,” Mr. Bello III said during a press briefing in Malacañang, “If you noticed, it’s called OF bank, not an OFW (overseas Filipino worker) bank. And the intention here is to cover not only the overseas Filipino workers but also the overseas Filipinos. Because just like our OFWs, our OFs… are also contributing a lot to Philippine economy.” Executive Order (EO) No. 44, signed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Sept. 28, authorizes the conversion of the PPSB into the OFB, which will be under the government-owned Land Bank of the Philippines. The EO underscores “the 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 remittances services.” Mr. Bello said putting up a bank that specially caters to overseas Filipinos is “proper and fair,” noting that they brought in $28 billion in remittances in 2016. — Rosemarie A. Zamora