BSP sets up facility to exchange Libyan dinars to peso


Posted at Mar 03 2011 09:11 PM | Updated as of Mar 04 2011 06:05 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Filipinos who evacuated from Libya can convert their Libyan dinar to Philippine peso at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas headquarters in Manila and its regional offices starting March 3.

This after the Monetary Board approved the opening of a currency exchange facility to assist overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who were displaced by the conflict in Libya.

Initially, the maximum amount of dinars each returning Filipino can exchange is equivalent to P10,000.

"Should there be demand for much more, then we are going to study whether we can adjust the amount," BSP deputy governor Diwa Guinigundo said.

He added that the BSP was set to decide on the exchange rate to be used to service the forex exchange requirements OFWs returrning fom Libya. But he noted that $1 is equivalent to 1.23 Libyan dinars.

The BSP is also about to issue a memorandum ordering banks to exchange dinars held by Filipinos returning from Libya with pesos. The banks may then exchange the dinars into pesos with the BSP. The BSP will set the exchange rate and it will be posted daily in the BSP Reference Exchange Rate Bulletin.

Philippine banks were not accepting Libyan dinars because the Philippines and Libya do not have significant trade relations. 

Meantime, the BSP would coordinate with the central bank of Libya and other foreign banks that are willing to exchange the dinars.

Guinigundo said Filipinos returning from Libya have either seven days upon arrival to the Philippines or seven days upon issuance of the BSP's memorandum on the foreign exchange facility, whichever is later, to exchange their dinars into pesos.

The central bank official said the BSP assumes a maximum P100 million worth of libyan dinars to be exchange by Filipinos evacuated from Libya.