Press Release
April 10, 2006

Has long sought for the creation of the Philippine Overseas Workers Bank through Senate Bill 639

Senator Manny Villar, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, says that its about time the government finally establish a bank that will cater solely to the financial requirements of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

While the mechanics of the Senate Bill I filed and what is being planned now are different, it doesnt matter, for as long as the goal is for the bank to serve the financial and investment needs of the growing number of OFWs worldwide, says Villar, President of the Nacionalista Party.

Villar has earlier filed Senate Bill 639 that seeks the creation of the Philippine Overseas Workers Bank. Among others, the proposed banking institution for OFWs would further enhance the investment potential of OFWs while at the same time addressing their financial needs and concerns and augment their income-generation capabilities as investors thereof.

Meanwhile, Malacañang has recently announced that the Philippine Postal Savings Bank (PPSB) will be renamed as Philippine Overseas Postal Bank which will in effect become an OFW bank. The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) will invest P1 billion in the said bank, which is expected to be operational in three months.

According to Villar, Its about time that OFWs be provided with a bank that serves their interests. It would be really good if the OFW bank will be run and managed by people within the OFW ranks as well. Then we can say that the bank is for the OFWs, by the OFWs and of the OFWs.

The Commission on Filipinos Overseas estimates that the total number of OFWs is around 4.9 million, including 3.6 million on temporary employment and 1.3 million working without legal documents.

The OFW bank is also a good investment proposition for the OFWs themselves. The OFW bank will surely be patronized by OFWs, thus it can corner all the business and profits that other banks and remittance centers are getting at their expense. Its a win-win situation for OFWs who will be given good rates and for the investors, that should include OFWs also, adds Villar.

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