Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III has welcomed Malacañang’s approval of the acquisition by the Land Bank of the Philippines of the Philippine Postal Savings Bank (PPSB), which, he said, will pave the way for a financial institution that will cater not only to the country’s migrant workers, but to other overseas-based Filipinos as well.
Dominguez said expanding the coverage of the new bank—to be called Overseas Filipino Bank (OFB)—would make it “more inclusive” as it would also cover Filipinos based overseas, including immigrants to other countries.
“The Department of Finance moved quickly to help deliver on the President’s campaign promise to create a financial institution totally dedicated to catering to the needs of all overseas Filipinos—the Overseas Filipino Bank,” Dominguez said.
The OFB, he said, will become a subsidiary of LandBank, “the government-owned and -controlled bank with the most extensive branch network that will cater to the needs of the families of foreign-based Filipinos.”
The LandBank submitted the draft EO on the LandBank acquisition of the PPSB in the first week of September, way ahead of the original October deadline, Dominguez noted.
In Executive Order No. 44 issued last Sept. 28, President Duterte ordered the Philippine Postal Corporation and the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) to transfer their PSPB shares to the LandBank at zero value.
The EO further stated that the former PPSB will be converted into the “Overseas Filipino Bank” which is a “policy bank dedicated to provide financial products and services tailored to the requirement of overseas Filipinos” and will focus on delivering “quality and efficient foreign remittance services.”
Dominguez said at a recent press briefing that one of the key features of the OFB will be a remittance service for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) as well as a loan program for Filipinos planning to return here to start businesses or build their homes.
According to the finance chief, the LandBank and the BTr are also exploring ways of mobilizing the savings of overseas-based Filipinos for them to invest in the country’s capital markets.
“Loans for house repair, for educating the beneficiaries here, and direct remittances to schools, so those are the programs we have discussed with (Labor) Secretary Silvestre Bello III and he seems to be very happy about the service we would be providing,” Dominguez said.