By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — Sen. Grace Poe on Wednesday officially endorsed for Senate
approval of the “Philippine Veterans Bank Act” or Senate Bill No. 2368
that institutes a revised charter for the Philippine Veterans Bank
(PVB) to include post-World War II veterans and soldiers.
“We need to secure the future viability of the bank, as well as ensure
its continuing contribution to the welfare of our veterans,” said Poe,
chairperson of the Senate committee on banks, financial institutions
Signed by 15 senators, Committee Report No. 288 repeals the old
charter and recognizes the PVB’s nature as a private commercial bank.
The bill realigns the bank’s internal structure and powers according
to the Revised Corporation Code, General Banking Act, and other
pertinent laws and regulations.
“It is only time that its charter be revised to reflect the changes
which happened during the half-century of its existence,” said Poe in
her sponsorship speech.
The PVB was created in 1963 under Republic Act 3518 and rehabilitated
in 1992 under Republic Act 7169.
The bill also provides for an increase in the bank’s capitalization
from P100 million to P10 billion to align its capitalization with the
minimum level prescribed by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas for
private commercial banks.
In order to assist the bank in raising capital while also ensuring
that veterans will remain in control, the previous 20-share limitation
for each veteran or dependent has been lifted and shares are now open
to non-veterans, provided that the majority of both common and
preferred shares still belong to veterans.
The bill also includes a “more methodical and stricter guideline” for
the distribution of the net profits of the bank, updated penalties for
specific violations, and a more stringent accounting system where the
bank will now have its own auditing department and will be audited
annually by a reputable external auditing firm.
“The thrust of the bank is to promote the welfare of the veterans,
which is why we need to make sure that the money meant for them is
well-accounted for,” emphasized Poe. (ai/mtvn)