In an effort to make life comfortable for overseas Filipinos workers (OFWs), President Rodrigo Duterte announced on Tuesday that he has been mulling over creating a bank solely for the OFWs.
"I'm thinking really seriously now na magkaroon kayo ng sariling bangko ninyo," Duterte told members of the Filipino community in Tokyo shortly after his arrival there for a three-day official visit.
"Maybe iyong postal bank ng gobyerno. Wala namang sumusulat ngayon," he added, referring to the Philippine Postal Savings Bank (PostBank), a state-owned thrift bank targeted to areas where banking services are not yet available.
In his visit to Hong Kong in September, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the government is planning to use the P20 billion pooled by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration from the contribution of OFWs to buy a bank and name it OFW Bank.
A bank catering to OFWs was one of Duterte's promises to migrant Filipino workers during the campaign period, the others being a separate government agency for OFWs and a one-stop shop that will cater to all their needs.
The first of the one-stop shops was established on August 15. Called the One-Stop Service Center for OFWs (OSSCO), it is located at the ground floor of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration’s main office in Mandaluyong City.
Bello had earlier said they are planning to put up OSSCOs in provinces with high concentration of OFWs. —Trisha Macas/KBK, GMA News