Gov’t poised to put up OFW Bank

BAGUIO CITY  – Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III here revealed the government is poised to put up an Overseas Filipino Workers Bank to recognize the significant contributions of our millions of modern day heroes to the country’s economy and provide them with good service, security and guaranteed source of livelihood.

Secretary Bello said the capitalization of the bank will come from the funds of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), the Employees Compensation Commission (ECC) and the OFWs themselves which initially amount to P80 billion.

“We need at least P3 billion to buy the Philippine Postal Bank and convert it from a thrift bank to a commercial bank that will be solely owned by the OFWs so that they will be able to operate the largest commercial bank in the country,” Secretary Bello stressed.

The labor chief claimed the P3 billion initial capitalization for the OFW Bank will come from the P19.8 billion money of the OFWs lodged with the OWWA so that the bank will be operational by the end of this year or by the first quarter of next year.

Bello disclosed ownership of the bank will be open to all the 4.8 million OFWs in the different parts of the world at P1,000 per share that will make the bank the largest commercial bank in the country that can bankroll key government and private projects geared towards the sustained economic growth all over the country.

He pointed out once the bank will be operational, it will now be the source of fresh capital to fund the implementation of multi-billion business expansion projects of our country’s top businessmen while some of the funds will be used to bankroll various government projects with the fund earning the appropriate interests that will be returned to the OFWs themselves in the form of dividends on their shares to the bank.

Further, Secretary Bello said OFWs wanting to be engaged in the put up of enterprises will have easier access to the appropriate capitalization for their businesses that will also contribute to generating additional jobs and increasing the source of income for their families and the national and local governments.

He added the put up of the OFW Bank is in fulfilment to the promise of President Duterte to enhance the welfare of the OFWs who had been sustaining the growth of the country’s economy through their remittances over the past several decades, thus, the need for government to reciprocate their significant contributions by providing them opportunities for continuous growth and development even when they come back to the country. By HENT