The Bohol Bankers’ Association (BBA) has appealed for support from the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) in their bid to have a Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) branch established in Bohol to eradicate the risks of having to regularly transport cash in and out of the island province.
The BBA in a letter sent to the SP earlier this week sought the endorsement of the legislative body, attaching a resolution which appealed to the BSP to “cause the immediate establishment of the branch.”
“We are seeking the assistance of the SP to endorse this request to the national authorities as this not only the dream of the BBA but also of the entire province of Bohol,” the BBA said.
The letter which was addressed to the SP’s presiding officer, Vice Governor Victor Balite, was signed by the BBA’s board of trustees, including its president Juvie Calacat and vice president Ramie Cahate, among others.
According to the BBA, banks in Bohol conduct an average of five physical transfers of cash per quarter to and from Cebu and Metro Manila.
“Bohol has 100 banks and most banks have been struggling and risking their security in order to serve the banking public’s urgent needs as quickly as possible,” the BBA said.
“Member banks bravely transfer cash and send mutilated bills to Cebu or Metro Manila at a cost of P14,000 by boat and P35,000 by air per transfer,” it added.
The constant need for fresh bills has been made evident by the continued circulation of mutilated bills in the province, which is a violation of the BSP’s “clean-note policy.”
“Unfit bills are widely used in the province of Bohol. Coin scarcity is widespread, causing public outrage as to why member banks are unable to supply coins to Boholano customers,” the BBA said.
During the height of the pandemic, there was a noted shortage of cash in the province due to the strict travel restrictions imposed.
Earlier, the BSP acquired a lot in Dauis and had already conducted in 2018 a groundbreaking ceremony for the supposed construction of the branch.
However, construction of the establishment did not commence.