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Good news to Bank of Cebu depositors

PDIC to start paying claims of depositors First Posted 10:54:00 09/05/2006

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This is one piece of good news that over 8,000 depositors of Bank of Cebu have been waiting for since the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas shut it down last week due to insolvency.

The Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp. (PDIC) announced that it may start processing applications for money claims on Friday.

Francis Hortelano, supervising information specialist of the PDIC?s Depositors Assistance Bureau, said their objective was to start paying the insurance claims of depositors at a maximum of P250,000 per individual within nine days upon their takeover of the bank.

?And if our target will proceed on schedule, we can start paying the depositors by Friday,? he added.

Hortelano said the depositors were already aware that they could be paid, but their concern was when PDIC could process their claims.

Vangie Rigayen, PDIC assistant manager for pre-settlement examination department, said they would still process the claims of depositors whose deposits reached more than the maximum amount. But she added they would have to wait for the next announcement as to when they could file their claims for the excess amount.

Hortelano earlier explained that the PDIC would process the payment of the excess amounts depending on how much they were able to dispose of the bank's assets.

Almost 98 percent or 7,703 depositors of the Bank of Cebu had deposits within the P250,000 insurance limit. The rest - two percent or 167 - had more than more than P250,000 deposits.

The Monetary Board of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas declared the Bank of Cebu ?insolvent? through Resolution No. 1090, as it had insufficient capital to continue operations.

With the closure, the bank is now under receivership of the PDIC. A team of 80 from the PDIC arrived on Thursday night to begin an inventory of the bank's assets and take over all transactions.

The Bank of Cebu started operations in 1961. Its chairman of the board is Rodolfo Sabater. It has seven branches ?the main branch on Manalili Street corner Osmeña Boulevard. The others are in towns of Carcar and Consolacion and the cities of Talisay, Mandaue City and Lapu-Lapu.

As of Monday, Hortelano said over 100 employees had been issued termination papers. Some of them would be rehired while the bank was under the receivership of the PDIC.

He could not say how many exactly would be rehired. But he said that in the main branch which had over 40 employees, more than 20 personnel were rehired.

The PDIC would pay for the salaries and benefits of these employees, Hortelano said.

But he added he could not say up to when they would remain employed because that would depend on how long the PDIC could wrap up its work.

The terminated employees who have yet to receive their salaries or benefits from the bank management will be given priority once the bank's assets are sold, Hortelano said.

?The claims of labor, benefits, unpaid privileges provided by the labor code will be a priority obligation of the bank after liquidation,? he said.

?As to the rehired employees, PDIC will be the one to pay all their salaries and overtime pay and benefits while we are implementing the receivership order,? he said.

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