In view of the improving situation in Lebanon and the reduced demand for conversion of Lebanese livres into Philippine pesos, the Monetary Board decided today to terminate, effective 15 January 2007, the Currency Exchange Facility (CEF) that allows returning Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) from Lebanon to exchange Lebanese currency for Philippine pesos. Under the facility, each OFW returning from Lebanon is allowed to exchange with the BSP or with authorized agent banks (AABs), up to a maximum of 300,000 Lebanese Livres (the equivalent of close to US$200). Prior to the CEF, Lebanese currency were not convertible into pesos.
BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. said that the establishment of the said facility in August 2006 was in line with government initiatives to assist OFWs that were displaced by the conflict in Lebanon. BSP had previously established two similar CEFs during emergency situations in other parts of the Middle East.
Effective 15 January 2007, therefore, the BSP Cash Department, BSP Regional Offices/Branches, and AABs, particularly those with branches at the Philippine international airports, shall no longer accept Lebanese currency for conversion to pesos.