Central Bank to rise in Panglao

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Central Bank to rise in Panglao

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The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is open to the idea of locating in Panglao its full Bohol branch if no property areas in Tagbilaran City meet its strict requirements, according to Gov. Edgar Chatto.

The Central Bank is eager to construct the structure next year or as soon as the most appropriate site, which can also be within the city, is identified, cleared and approved.

Chatto again discussed the P250 million project with BSP Deputy Governor for Monetary Stability Sector Diwa Guinigundo and General Counsel Elmore Capuli.

Guinigundo and Chatto  were formerly together at the University of the Philippines – School of Economics while Capuli is Chatto’s former law classmate at the Ateneo University.

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They delved into the process of final site selection conducted by the BSP, whose latest officials to Bohol just last week were led by BSP Cebu regional Office Director Leonides Sumbi.

Either the tourist Panglao, where the new Bohol airport is currently constructed, or its neighbor town of Dauis offers an ideal site and the BSP is “open to the idea,” Chatto said.

At the BSP-arranged press forum here on Tuesday, Sumbi said they were to inspect on the same day four potential sites, although she did not specify where in Tagbilaran City, Panglao or Dauis.

This could hopefully lead to a final positive recommendation to the national BSP, which Chatto said is “serious” in pursuing the project as also pushed by the business sector, notably the banking community.

Bohol’s fast accelerating economic movements due to the surge of investments are a factor cited for a full-branch operation of Central Bank in the province.

Another crucial consideration is the reduced risk of transporting money—which at present is from Cebu and Dumaguete City, where the BSP also has a branch—to Bohol.

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The lot area for the facility should be at least 5,000 square meters along a major road network or, in areas where there are no other suitable sites, the frontage of the lot should not be less than 50 meters.

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The provincial government has been willing to offer a lot, but it has no properties that can substantially meet the many BSP requirements.

During the full-body meeting of the Regional Development Council (RDC) in Cebu City on Friday, Chatto asked the Department of Environment and Natural resources (DENR) to assist in finding a most safe area.

There was then also a potential site but the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) and Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) advised to find another because of geological hazard following Bohol’s epic earthquake.

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This same case had paralyzed the rise of an entirely new Loon district hospital as several relocation areas did not get MGB-PHIVOLCS safety validation until one more site was just recently cleared.

While a most ideal site is yet to be fixed, Chatto said interested landowners may contact his office to have a direct access to the BSP authorities who are in charge of the project.

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WHY BOHOL NEEDS BSP

The Central Bank in Bohol will further result in a better quality of banknotes and coins in circulation and easier access for the Boholanos to exchange their unfit bills and coins and to surrender counterfeit/doubtful notes.

It will be less expensive for Bohol banks to deposit their old notes while the BSP itself can have an easier information dissemination of its advocacies.

Moreover, the branch provides accessibility to gathering data and statistics, especially for Bohol, according to an RDC brief.

Officials said the BSP is in the works to determine the OFW remittances by regions and provinces, which producers of overseas workers include Bohol.

A substantial contributor to the national gross domestic product and helping the country’s economy afloat, this year’s OFW remittances have been projected to reach over $29 billion. (Ven rebo Arigo)

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