Palace formally announces creation of “Workers’ Bank”

To highlight his recognition of both the plight and economic contribution of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), President Rodrigo R. Duterte has given his formal nod for the creation of a bank that caters primarily to the country’s “modern-day heroes,” presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella has announced.

Agriculture secretary Emmanuel Piñol also confirmed the news separately in a social media post, where he noted as well that the President would be fulfilling another campaign promise he made to the millions of migrant Filipino workers.

Photo Credit: Toto Lozano/PPD

“Workers’ Bank”

In a recent press briefing at the Palace, Abella announced that the president has approved the proposal of Labor secretary Silvestre Bello III to convert thrift-lender Philippine Postal Savings Bank (Post Bank) into a financial institution dedicated to the Filipino working class, especially the OFWs.

Post Bank will be renamed the “Workers’ Bank.”

Land Bank to absorb Post Bank

Meanwhile, Piñol said in a Facebook post that following Finance secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III’s suggestion, state-run lender Land Bank of the Philippines (Land Bank) would now be tasked to acquire Post Bank, instead of going for Bello’s earlier proposal to infuse some P4 billion in fresh capital into the thrift lender.

He said Dominguez opposed Bello’s plan as it would entail stringent requirements from Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. Budget secretary Benjamin Diokno, according to Piñol’s post, agreed to the finance chief’s counterproposal.

Dominguez explained earlier that Land Bank is the only government bank allowed to absorb Post Bank for this undertaking as it is a universal bank, which “reaches out to different markets.”

Bank to be partly-owned by working class

Piñol announced that the Worker’s Bank would be partly-owned by the Filipino working class through shares of stocks.

The bank, he said, would initially operate as a subsidiary of Land Bank “until such time OFWs and other Filipino workers have bought shares to own part of the bank.”

“As the Workers’ Bank grows,” Piñol explained, “OFWs and other Filipino workers will be allowed to buy shares of the bank, thereby establishing the first bank which will be owned by the working class.”

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