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Bello urges OFWs to invest in bank created for them

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III. Photo from a video by the President Communications Operations Office

The Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) has assured overseas workers that the soon-to-open Overseas Filipino Bank (OFB) will offer low remittance fees and profitable investment plans.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said government bankers had determined that the bank could limit to 2.5 percent per year the interest rate for a soft loan.

“We got the consent of LandBank president Alex Buenaventura that the interest rate for loans will only be at 2.5 percent per annum. This will give our OFWs (or overseas Filipino workers) [a] venue for their investments,” he said.

Bello made the assurance after President Rodrigo Duterte signed Executive Order No. 44, creating the OFB which will offer financial plans and services to all Filipino overseas workers.

‘They own the bank’

The Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) will acquire the Philippine Postal Savings Bank and convert it to the OFB.

The OFB will be managed by a board of directors, headed by the LBP president as chair, and representatives from the Dole, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (Owwa) and the private sector.

Bello encouraged OFWs to invest in the bank and take advantage of its services and investment programs.

“It will be wise for them to invest in the bank because they actually own the bank. As the secretary of labor and under the executive order, I can nominate one to represent Dole, another one to Owwa, and the other one is for the overseas-based Filipinos,” he said.

Bello said that they would increase the representation of the OFWs by buying more shares that would entitle them to two or three board seats.

Branches of the OFB will be put up in all Philippine Overseas Labor Offices so the bank can reach more overseas Filipinos and provide them with quality and efficient foreign remittance services.

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