OFWs evacuated from Libya can exchange Dinars to Pesos-BSP

THE Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas will provide currency exchange facility  (CEF) to enable overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) evacuated from Libya to exchange Libyan dinars for Philippine pesos.

The said facility was approved by the Monetary Board Thursday.  At present, the Libyan banknotes are not convertible to pesos.

BSP Officer-In-Charge Juan de Zuñiga, Jr. said that the establishment of the said facility is in line with government’s efforts to assist OFWs that were displaced by the current conflict in Libya.

Under the CEF, each OFW returning from Libya will be allowed to exchange with the BSP or with banks up to a maximum of PHP10,000.00 equivalent of Libyan dinars.

OFWs are required to present documentary proof of their travel from Libya [passport or valid travel papers (issued and signed by the Philippine Embassy, stamped with the date of the OFW’s arrival in the Philippines)].

The BSP said OFWs have seven (7) banking days from date of their arrival or from the date of the issuance of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Memorandum to All Banks on the implementation of the CEF to convert their Libyan banknotes with banks, the BSP’s Cash Department in Manila, and the BSP Regional Offices/Branches.

The BSP shall set the exchange rate at which it will buy Libyan dinar from OFWs and banks that purchased said currencies under the CEF.

The rate shall be posted daily in the BSP Reference Exchange Rate Bulletin. Banks, particularly those with branch offices at the airports, may extend banking hours, as needed, to service currency conversion requirements of returning OFWs.

The BSP had previously established a CEF during similar emergency situations in the Middle East. The first was in the 1990s during the Kuwait-Iraq war, the second in 2003 in connection with the US-Iraq conflict, and the third  in 2006 in connection with the Israel-Hezbollah conflict. Access to the CEF was exclusive to returning OFWs who were given a limited period within which to exchange the acceptable currencies for pesos and for a limited amount.

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