Two lawmakers on Wednesday welcomed the House committee on banks and financial intermediaries’ deliberation on their proposed law seeking to ensure the future financial viability of the Philippine Veterans Bank amid the coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic.
“We are grateful that the panel chaired by [Quirino] Rep. Junie Cua is giving importance and consideration to our very important piece of legislation to ensure the bank’s financial stability and security amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” House Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez and Tingog party-list Rep. Yedda Marie Romualdez said.
The Romualdez couple and Trade Union Congress of the Philippines party-list Rep. Raymond Democrito Mendoza filed House Bill (HB) 6375 or the proposed “Philippine Veterans Bank Act of 2020.”
“Recognizing the patriotic services of our Filipino war veterans as well as all retired military personnel, it is more fitting to provide them adequate benefits and other forms of assistance due to them. This bill proposes amendments to certain provisions of the Philippine Veterans Bank Charter,” they said.
The bill proposes to amend pertinent portions of Republic Act (RA) 3518, which created PVB, to revitalize the bank and foster the socio-economic wellbeing of Filipino war veterans and retired military personnel especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"By adopting the proposed amendments, we are not only increasing the bank’s future viability, we are giving tribute to all the selfless efforts given by the veterans and our retired military personnel who risked their lives for the betterment of the country,” the authors stated in their bill.
“In order to give meaning and realization to the Constitutional mandate of providing immediate and adequate benefits and other forms of assistance to all Filipino war veterans, as well as the retired military personnel, in recognition of their patriotic services in times of war and peace for the cause of freedom and democracy, including their surviving spouses, orphans and compulsory heirs, it is hereby declared the policy of the Government to execute a viable plan that will promote the welfare of all Filipino war veterans and retired military personnel; in line with the policy of the State to foster their socio-economic security and general well-being, by extending to them substantial support for their livelihood and income-generating projects, through the efficient and effective revitalization of the Philippine Veterans Bank, hereinafter known as Veterans Bank, which is deeply imbued with public interest,” HB 6375 said.
Among the most important amendments adopted by the committee were those regarding the provisions of RA 3518 on authorized capital stock.
During the virtual committee hearing Tuesday, PVB Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Roberto de Ocampo described the proposed amendments of the Romualdezes and Mendoza as “the most crucial” because they shall ensure that the bank’s capital stock meet the requirements of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on the amount of capital stock of commercial banks.
“Right now, the old law only says P5 million. The BSP requires P10 million. And therefore this draft bill does provide an alignment with BSP rules and regulations,” said de Ocampo.
The bill also aligns the definition of “veterans” with existing laws, opening the door to veterans of wars other than World War II, retired military personnel, and their immediate heirs. This shall make the bank more flexible and better solidifies its financial position.
“With the expansion of the equity stock of the Veterans’ Bank, it would not only comply with the BSP. It would have the resources necessary to service an even wider universe of the heroes of the country,” de Ocampo added.