THE Overseas Filipino Bank (OFB) will open in January 2018 to provide remittance services to overseas Filipinos at a lower rate, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III announced in a press briefing in Malacanang on Thursday.
The OFB will have branches in all Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POLOs) worldwide, according to Bello.
The bank will have no tie-up with private banks.
“The plan is to capture the market of the remittances from abroad exclusively through the OF Bank,” said Bello, noting that OFWs remitted $28 billion in 2016.
Bello said Land Bank will buy the Philippine Postal Bank and convert it into a subsidiary to be called the OFB.
At least three OFW representatives will sit in the OFB’s board of directors to be chaired by the president of Land Bank, Bello said.
The board seats for OFWs is to be acquired by buying the equivalent share in the OFB using the P600 million rebate that is supposed to be given to 6 million OFWs by the end of the year, said Bello.
Two other board members of the OFB will represent the Department of Labor and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration.
Bello said the OFB is the fulfillment of a promise by President Rodrigo Duterte through
Executive Order (EO) No. 44, he signed on Sept. 28, 2017. The EO approves the Land Bank of the Philippines’ acquisition of Philippine Postal Savings Bank (PPSB).
“Ito ay isang pangako na natupad after so many years and so many presidents making the promise. As early as martial law days, itong OFW bank eh na-conceptualize na ‘yan. Naipangako na ‘yan,” Bello said. “And now, the OF Bank will become a reality because of the sincere desire of our President to service the OFWs.”