Duterte to visit Abu Dhabi, Dubai in 2nd quarter

Dubai: President Rodrigo Duterte is set to visit the UAE in the second quater of 2018 to launch the Overseas Filipino Bank (OFBank), according to officials.

The OFBank, unveiled in Manila on January 19 as a subsidiary of Land Bank of the Philippines, aims to cater to the needs of the millions of Filipino workers abroad.

The new bank’s creation is a key election campaign promise of the Philippine leader, who won by a landslide in May 2016.

In September last year, Duterte signed Executive Order No. 44 directing state-owned Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) to acquire the Philippine Postal Bank and convert it to the OFBank.

Land Bank president and CEO Alex Buenaventura told Filipino diplomats gathered in Italy on Saturday that Duterte is set to launch the OFBank in Dubai and the UAE Capital, Abu Dhabi, in the second quarter of the year.

Land Bank president and CEO Alex Buenaventura during his presentation in Milan, Italy, on Saturday.

Buenaventura was in Milan, Italy, where heads of Philippine diplomatic posts in Europe, Africa and the Middle East were gathered.

Mocha Uson, Assistant Secretary for Social Media of the Presidential Communications Group, livestreamed the meeting on Facebook.

Duterte visited Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar in April last year to promote investments and meet Filipino workers.

In launching the bank last week, Duterte said the new financial institution would address the needs of the OFWs, who are the Philippines’ key growth drivers, having remitted $25.3 billion in 2017.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the Philippines’ central monetary authority, earlier gave LBP the greenlight to acquire the Philippine Postal Bank to form the OFBank.

The bank is offering 15 banking products and services, including deposits, loans and investment, as well as online payments and remittances.

In addition to home loans and business loans, OFBank is also developing the “Future Need Savings Plan” to promote the habit of saving among overseas workers.

The new bank also aims offer payment services for OFWs’ Social Security System (SSS), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), PhilHealth dues, as well as insurance premiums, credit cards, telephone and water bills, housing and business loans, and their children’s school fees.

There are estimated 10 million Filipinos working and living overseas.

The OFBank recently opened its head office at the Liwasang Bonifacio in Manila. Its services will be made available through 423 LBP branches and extension offices in the Philppines.


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