Through the mandate of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte as fulfillment of his campaign promise, a bank specifically for overseas Filipinos workers (OFWs) was opened.
The Overseas Filipino Bank (OF Bank) caters primarily to OFWs. The bank actually came from the old Philippine Postal Savings Bank which was run by the state for 112 years.
The bank is expected to cater to the estimated over 10 million OFWs in various parts of the world, aiming to lessen remittance fees, provide these workers with better loan options with lower interest rates, and better savings options. Though the bank now offers lesser remittance fees compared with other remittance options, the goal is to eliminate the fees altogether in the future.
Personally inaugurated by the president last January 2018, the bank’s head office is located in Liwasang Bonifacio, Manila.
Back in January, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III promised that branches the bank will be opened outside the Philippines as well, first in Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, and Dubai.
How to Open an Account
OFWs will find it relatively easy to open an account at the Overseas Filipino Bank since the requirements are just the same as that of other banks. The only difference is that right now, the only way to open an account is to visit the main branch in Manila – and the bank is really just for OFWs.
Step 1. Choose the account you want to open.
- Savings Account
- Checking Account
- Time Deposit
- Future Needs Savings Plan
Step 2. Present proof that you are an OFW. You can bring your Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) or present your OFW ID, if you already have one.
Step 3. If you don’t have an OFW ID yet, make sure to bring at least one valid ID, preferably a government-issued ID.
Step 4. Fill out the application form.
More Good News
Opening an account at the Overseas Filipino Bank is free.
Take note, however, that the banking facility only caters for OFWs at the moment. But Secretary Bello promised that they are planning to expand the services to include OFW families in the future.
Aside from remittance services and opening an account to save money, OFWs can also avail of non-collateral loans from the bank, up to Php350,000, with a low interest rate of just 6% per annum. This is a great option for those who wish to start a business for their families left in the Philippines but don’t have a lot of money to use as capital.