Makati City, Philippines --- Today marks the second day of shutdown of Banco Filipino (BF). This came after the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) released the order and announced the financial insolvency of BF yesterday.
The main office of BF in de la Rosa St. Makati City, was not in its usual bouyant and pleasant transacting ambience. It was locked up and unlit.
The two security guards standing by the steps of BF no longer greeted clients "Good Morning/ Afternoon". Instead, they asked people to read the posted announcement of Philippine Deposit and Insurance Corporation (PDIC).
In recollection, BSP specifically instructed PDIC to facilitate claims transactions of clients with active BF accounts beginning today. PDIC is a government corporation that insures deposit claims up to PhP 500,000.
PDIC staff entered the premises of BF this morning but went back to their respective branch offices in the afternoon. BF clients who received late notifications about the incident were urged to transact with PDIC SSS Ayala Avenue branch.
However, BF clients came to PDIC SSS branch only to be informed about the open transaction of PDIC inside BF premises starting March 20, 2011 .
A PDIC employee who, after briefing BF clients, disclosed that BF did not leave any bank information in the main branch.
Early in the morning, BSP declared that BF employees will be sanctioned for participating in the recent nationwide closure of BF.
It should be remembered that the enmity between BF and BSP has a long history way back in 1985 when SC did not uphold the closure of BF by BSP. BF was once again allowed to operate in 1994. Last March 2010, the Makati Regional Trial Court required BSP to provide BF some rehabilitation assistance and pay the latter cost in damages --- all amounting to at least PhP 30 billion pesos.
Last Tuesday, however, BSP insisted it does not owe BF anything and avowed to appeal the case to the Supreme Court. The basis of the closure of BF, as argued by BSP, was due to the numerous complaints filed by the former's clients.
However, both BF and BSP have independently claimed they are both victims of smear campaigns of each other.
The official shut down of BF is indeed a sad news that shocked and saddened many Filipinos. BF was a pioneer of kiddie savings promotions and the highest interest paying bank in the country. It was the longest running savings and mortgage bank, with nationwide operations, before Tuesday.
ANNOUNCEMENTS TO BF CLIENTS (NATIONWIDE)
1. Bring your bank papers and at least 2 valid IDs
2. Go to respective BF branches (where you have active accounts) and PDIC personnel shall facilitate your claims transactions
3. (for Makati Branch only) Attend Depositor's Forum on March 22, 2011, Tuesday at PDIC SSS Branch. For other branches, clients are requested to inquire with local PDIC branches.