News Release

Overseas Filipino Bank set to open in January

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Jr. on Monday, January 15, announced that the Overseas Filipino Bank (OFB) would be launched this month.

“We recognize the contribution of our overseas Filipinos to our economic growth we are now enjoying; and related to this, we acknowledge their financial needs,” Roque said during a press briefing in Malacañang.

Executive Order (EO) No. 44, signed by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte last September, approved the acquisition of the Philippine Postal Savings Bank by the Land Bank of the Philippines and its conversion into OFB.

The OFB, Roque stressed, is a commitment made by the President to the members of the Filipino communities abroad. It aims to provide financial and remittance services tailored to the needs of overseas Filipinos.

In the same press briefing, Roque also announced the Commencement of Work ceremony of the Philippine National Railways (PNR) Manila-Clark Project Phase 1.

“Phase 1 of the PNR (Manila-) Clark Project entails the construction of the rail systems along the 38-kilometer segment from Tutuban to Malolos. It will have 10 stations and is expected to service around 340,000 passengers daily during its opening year. With this line, it will only take 35 minutes from Tutuban to Malolos,” Roque explained.

Phase 1, estimated to cost P105-billion, is under the auspices of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

As for the project’s second phase, Roque said it had already been approved by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

The 70-kilometer Phase 2 will extend the railways from Malolos, Bulacan to Clark, Pampanga. It will be further extended north to La Union, Tuguegarao and Subic Freeport.

“We expect, itong Phase 1 ng PNR project, Tutuban to Malolos, to be completed in 2021, and the Phase 2, Malolos to Clark, by 2022,” Roque said.

Palace receives Licuanan’s resignation as CHED Chair

In the same press briefing, Secretary Roque disclosed that the President had already received the resignation letter of Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairperson Patricia Licuanan.

“It was received at 8 o’clock in the morning by e-mail. A hard copy is forthcoming… I’ve been advised though, that since it’s been received, it will be accepted,” he said.

Roque clarified that no one was being eyed yet by the President to replace Licuanan and further said that as a matter of procedure, the most senior of the CHED commissioners would take over in an acting capacity.

On the the abolition of the Vice President’s post on the new Charter, the President’s spokesperson noted that it is “beyond the control of the Palace.”

He explained that it would be the Congress, sitting as a Constituent Assembly, who would propose amendments to the Constitution.

“However, I’m sure that because any proposed amendment to the Constitution will be subject to ratification by the people that, ultimately, it is the people who will judge this matter,” Roque underscored. ### PCO-Content