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ADB Recognizes RBs Help to OFWs

The Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines represented by its President, Mr. Senen D. Glorioso participated on the ADB conference as one of the panelists on REMITTANCES AS A DEVELOPMENT TOOL. He recounted the “Role of Rural Banks as Microfinance Institutions in Remittances.”

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) completed a technical study on enhancing the Efficiency of Overseas Filipino Workers’ Remittances, which was undertaken in cooperation with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. On December 16, 2004 ADB sponsored a conference to discuss certain issues covered by the study with major stakeholders such as the banks, regulators, members of the academe, other government agencies, OFW organizations, NGOs and private companies engaged in remittance business.

The Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines represented by its President, Mr. Senen D. Glorioso participated on the said conference as one of the panelists on REMITTANCES AS A DEVELOPMENT TOOL. He recounted the “Role of Rural Banks as Microfinance Institutions in Remittances”. In his presentation, emphasis was given on the capability of the rural banks to become effective partners in bridging the gap between the remitter and receiver of money especially in the remote areas. This is being attributed to the unique characteristic of the rural banking industry as a nationwide network of banks with 70% to 80% coverage in all the cities and municipalities.

Furthermore, he also identified the different financial and non-financial products and services that the rural banks can offer to OFWs and their families. These include high-yield medium/long-term time deposit, children’s savings accounts, education and housing loans, bills payment and collection services for SSS, Pag-ibig, PhilHealth and the likes, and advisories about successful business ventures and skills in partnership with DTI, TLRC, OWWA and NGOs. These opportunities offered by rural banks can help improve the utilization and conversion of remittances into productive investments and ventures, hence, expanding the benefits derived from foreign remittances. The rural banks, he pointed out, are the last mile in the marathon race for OFWs not just supporters to conspicuous consumption and household expenses. The goal of the industry is to discourage dependence syndrome and promote entrepreneurial and educational advancement to OFW families.

Overall, the conference was successful. The study is yet another milestone for the Overseas Filipinos and their families and the Philippines as a whole because the stakeholders, multilateral institutions and the Philippine Government are now committed to improve the volume and attain the highest return from remittances of Overseas Filipinos.

The Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines and its 735 rural bank members have committed to exploit all possible opportunities to fuel-up economic development in the countryside – Overseas Filipino remittance is one of these opportunities.