The government approved the acquisition of Philippine Postal Savings Bank by state-run Land Bank of the Philippines, a vital development for the creation of the Overseas Filipino Bank.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said in a statement the acquisition would pave the way for a financial institution catering to the country’s migrant workers and other Filipinos based overseas.
Dominguez said expanding the coverage of the new bank 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.
He said OFB would become a subsidiary of LandBank and a “government-owned and -controlled bank with the most extensive branch network that will cater to the needs of the families of foreign-based Filipinos.”
LandBank submitted the draft EO on the LandBank acquisition of Postal Bank in the first week of September, ahead of the original October deadline, Dominguez said.
President Rodrigo Duterte issued Executive Order No. 44 on Sept. 28 ordering Philippine Postal Corp. and the Bureau of the Treasury to transfer their PSPB shares to LandBank at zero value.
The EO further stated that the former PPSB would 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 in a recent news briefing that one of the key features of the OFB would be remittance service for overseas Filipino workers and loan program for Filipinos planning to return home to start businesses or build their homes.
He said LandBank and the Treasury were also exploring ways to mobilize 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.