Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) – August 7, 2021 – 12:00 am
MANILA, Philippines – The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has called on banks and financial institutions to ensure the continued provision of banking services as the National Capital Region (NCR) and neighboring provinces have been placed under community quarantine reinforced to slow the spread of the new COVID-19 Variant.
The central bank headquarters in Manila and the security factory complex in Quezon City will operate as staff from critical departments and support units continue to report on site, with reduced working hours from 9am to 9am. 15 hours.
The BSP also reminded banks to adopt the necessary protocols against transmission of the COVID-19 virus, in particular the Delta variant.
“This is in line with efforts to maintain banking sector operations despite alternative working arrangements and increased restrictions imposed in Metro Manila and other locations during this period,” the regulator said in a statement. communicated.
Malacañang placed the NCR and adjacent provinces under strict lockdown from August 6 to 20 amid the continued spread of the more contagious delta variant.
Banks in affected areas have announced shortened bank hours because the government has also imposed a longer curfew from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. and only those authorized outside the residence (APOR) are allowed out.
On the one hand, Security Bank announced that branches in areas under enhanced community quarantine would operate at shortened bank hours from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., while those in areas under modified enhanced community quarantine would operate from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Likewise, branches in areas under general community quarantine would observe bank hours from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“The hours of operation of some branches may differ, depending on the hours of operation of the mall or a local ordinance,” Security Bank said in a notice.
The Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), led by Ayala, also announced shorter bank hours for branches in areas under enhanced community quarantine from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and for branches in Iloilo province from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. .
“In view of the strengthened community quarantine declaration on Metro Manila, Gingoog City, Iloilo City, Iloilo Province and Cagayan de Oro City, some BPI and BPI Family Savings Bank branches nationwide will remain open, with hours of operation. reduced, to serve your banking needs. said BPI.
He urged customers to plan their branch trips accordingly.
“We encourage you to stay at home and use BPI Online and BPI Mobile for your daily banking needs,” said the 170-year-old bank.
For his part, the President and CEO of the Philippine National Bank, Jose Arnulfo “Wick” Veloso, said the bank led by Lucio Tan was waiving fees for electronic funds transfer through InstaPay and PESONet during the strict measures of lockdown and quarantine to encourage more customers to stay. at home amid the continuing health issues brought by the new Delta variant.
“We encourage our customers to use digital banking services. We are seeing that digital banking has gained traction during the pandemic as customers learn more about the benefits of these services and how to use them, ”said Veloso.
PNB branches will remain open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. during the entry into force of the enhanced community quarantine, but the listed bank offers customers the safer option of banking online to minimize the need to leave the home. them to visit branches and ATMs.
“The bank continues to support our customers and the economy in general during these difficult times. We give our customers various access to cash so they can continue to meet their basic needs, ”said Veloso.