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Ilonggos abroad welcome OFW bank

Ilongos working abroad are looking forward to the various financial and banking services to be offered by the newly created Overseas Filipino Bank (OFB), particularly as it offers better terms for their hard-earned money.

Maribel Bolaños, 41, has been working in Hong Kong for 14 years, is optimistic about the bank for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) as her current depository bank offers low interest.

“I am very amenable as long as it offers a good rate for OFWs,” she said in an interview through Facebook.

Nhen Acero Ardiente, another Hong Kong veteran for 16 years, believed the creation of the OFW bank is “one of the best achievements of OFWs under President Duterte.”

“The creation of the OFW bank will make our life easier while working abroad,” she said also in an online interview.

She said that with the bank, they can have “zero interest in loan services; free of charge when they send money back home and invest with higher interest rate.”

Bolaños and Ardiente are both from the town of Lambunao in Iloilo.

Delmar Aguidano of Alimodian town in Iloilo said it is better that the government has established a bank that is dedicated to OFWs. He hoped that transactions are faster because it will just cater to OFWs.

He is currently in Iloilo and processing his papers for his return employment in Saudi Arabia as a construction worker. He has been working abroad for nine years.

While abroad, he used remittance centers to send money back home. However, there were instances when they incurred delays in sending the money to the Philippines.

He said that sending money through a government bank is “safer.”

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte signed Executive Order No. 44 on September 28, 2017 approving the acquisition of the Philippine Postal Savings Bank (PPSB) by the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) to be converted into OFB.

Based on the records of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Region 6, there are 77,426 active members and 220,426 non-active members as of February 6 this year.

Perla Lena / PNA