Nov 242013

MANILA, Philippines – The central bank on Monday said about 60 percent of banks in typhoon-hit Leyte and Samar have resumed their operations nearly two weeks after the massive destruction caused by typhoon Yolanda.

Data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) show that 102 banks out of the 171 banking offices in Leyte and Samar are back in operations as of Nov. 21.

Meanwhile, only 63 out of the 204 automated teller machines (ATMs) in the two provinces are back online.

The central bank said in the six provinces hit by Yolanda- Leyte, Samar, Cebu, Aklan, Capiz and Palawan- 742 of the 855 banking offices have resumed operations while 931 of the 1,203 ATMs are now online.

However, BSP Deputy Governor Nestor Espenilla, Jr. said only five out of the 44 banks in Tacloban City resumed operations during the same period.

He said banks in the city are finding it hard to resume operations after the typhoon, and damaged equipment and unavailable employees make it difficult to resume operations.

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“They need to bring in new ATMs among others because those being used before the typhoon were heavily destroyed,” Espenilla said.

He added that there were isolated cases where ATMs were stolen.

Espenilla said he expects most of the banks in Tacloban to reopen by the end of the year.

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