THERE is a Chinese proverb that says: too much of anything is not good. In the case of the Palawan Underground River, which recently earned a place on the prestigious “The New 7 Wonders of Nature,” it’s too much passengers and too little “organization.”
One of our hardworking officials at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Assistant Governor Winnie Santiago, learned this the hard way during a recent family vacation.
AG Winnie sent us an e-mail (with accompanying photos) while waiting for their river tour to start: “(The Underground River permit) said 3:30 p.m. sharp. Guess what time it is now and we are still waiting for our turn.”
She sent another e-mail detailing the rest of her family’s Underground River “horror” story:
“It didn’t end (with the waiting). We finished the underground river tour at past 6 p.m. Our assigned boat should have been ready and waiting but unfortunately, it had to ferry other passengers. We were last on the island, seven of us, plus our tour guide and one of the boatmen. The boat came back for us at past 7 p.m. It was totally dark by then, with no electricity by the shore. My 82-year-old mother quietly prayed.”
She added, “If you can somehow share (this story) with someone who can improve the way the underground river tour is organized, it will help the Philippines a lot.”
I agree with AG Winnie. A world-class wonder of nature certainly deserves world-class facilities and services.
Some depositors of the recently closed Export & Industry Bank have been lamenting the loss of their money—and rightly so, since they worked hard to earn what they have tried to save.
In light of this sad development, Bangko Sentral Deputy Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. gave some advice on how depositors can ensure that their deposits would remain safe in banks.
First, Espenilla said depositors should try to spread their deposits in several banks, instead of putting all of their money in just one bank.
Espenilla added that depositors should not be easily tempted by high interest rates offered by some banks. It is best to deposit in a bank offering rates generally comparable with those of other banks.
The BSP official also said that depositors should check if their chosen bank is transparent about its financial condition.
Here are simple and practical reminders from the BSP on how to safeguard your deposits:
Only banks are allowed by law to accept deposits from the public. If in doubt, you may inquire from the BSP’s Financial Consumer Affairs Group (telephone number 02-7087087; e-mail email@example.com) or the Depositors Assistance Bureau of the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (telephone number 02-8414630 to 31; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org).
Deal directly with bank employees within the premises of the bank.
The rate of interest paid by banks to deposits and other terms and conditions vary among banks. The higher the rates, the higher the risk.
Offers that sound too good to be true may not be true at all.
Be wary of offers of unrealistically high interest rates or expensive gifts (such as cars, local or foreign trips, gadgets, etc.) in addition to interest, in exchange for your deposit.
Always keep in a safe place the proof of your deposits such as passbooks, copies of deposit slips, certificates of time deposit or confirmation statements (if transactions is done through the Internet).
Bank deposits are insured up to P500,000 per individual depositor by the PDIC.
It should be noted that despite the Export & Industry Bank experience, Espenilla has assured the Filipino public that the entire banking industry remains stable.