PHILIPPINE POSTAL Savings Bank (PPSB) has been directed to transfer all its assets, liabilities, records, systems and other appurtenant items to the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), the first step in the government’s aim to set up a lender for overseas Filipinos.
Executive Order (EO) 44, signed by Acting Executive Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra on Sept. 28 in behalf of President Rodrigo R. Duterte, approved Landbank’s acquisition of PPSB.
“Subject to the necessary approval and/or clearance of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Securities and Exchange Commission, Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Philippine Competition Commission, the acquisition of PPSB by LBP through transfer of shares and its subsequent conversion into an Overseas Filipino Bank (OFB) is hereby approved, in accordance with existing laws, rules and regulations,” the EO read.
“The PPC (Philippine Postal Corporation) and the Bureau of [the] Treasury are hereby directed to transfer all their respective shares in PPSB to LBP at zero value,” it added.
Following the acquisition, PPSB will be converted into an Overseas Filipino Bank (OFB), according to the issuance.
EO 44 said OFB will address “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 remittance services.”
The issuance also directed Landbank to infuse the necessary funds to OFB to strengthen its capital base “to attain its primary agenda of servicing the various financial and banking needs of overseas Filipinos.”
The OFB will be directed by a Board of Directors consisting of nine members including the LBP President as chairperson, the LBP-designated OFB President as vice chairperson, and four LBP-designated directors as members.
There should also be a representative of the Department of Labor and Employment, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, and the private sector.
OFB is a campaign promise of Mr. Duterte. Earlier, Landbank President and Chief Executive Officer Alex V. Buenaventura said the establishment of the lender will be pushed back to January next year instead of the September target due to processing delays.
The bank will have two pilot headquarters — the first one in Dubai, which will start operating by January next year, and the second one in Bahrain, targeted to be established by April. It will also be using existing Landbank branches overseas to service overseas Filipinos’ banking requirements.
After the pilot testing phase, which may take about a year, the OFW bank will also be rolled out in countries that are home to many overseas Filipinos such as the United States, Japan, Middle East, and Hong Kong. — R.A. Zamora