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Fri. May 14th, 2021

First of all, let’s make one thing clear from the start. I’m an old geezer in the Philippines. Consequently, that’s enabled me to make an “Awesome BDO Surprising Senior Switch.”

Life Expectancy in Philippines was 17.91 years of age

Senior status in the Philippines begins at age 60. That’s a good thing. The World Health Organization, WHO, lists 66.2 as the average life expectancy for a Filipino, man, in 2018. A Filipina, woman, has an average life expectancy of 72.6. Therefore, a Filipino man in the Philippines only has about six years on average to enjoy his senior benefits.

In contrast, Nature.com reports that the average Filipino life expectancy for both sexes in 1918 was 26.5 years, as compared with 17.91 years in 1902.

The Parents Rock On

My Filipina wife’s parents have both exceeded their expected life spans as they both are in their mid-to-late 80’s.

The average life expectancy for a United States male is around 78.69. My Father, who passed away this year, lived to be 86.

This could bode well for my wife and me. I’m 13 years older than my asawa.

Stylish Old Geezer courtesy of Pixabay

Awesome BDO Surprising Senior Switch

Furthermore, my senior status entitles me to certain benefits. I passed up 60 years ago. While traveling to nearby Iloilo City a couple of weeks ago, I had to make a stop at our Banco de Oro, BDO, branch.

Finally, it was time to renew my USA passport. I had been in the Philippines for over ten years now. Fortunately, I was able to submit my passport renewal to the U.S. Embassy in Manila. However, I had to submit a bank draft from BDO for 110.00 USD.

Therefore, we needed to travel to nearby Iloilo City to accomplish this task. In contrast, it beats a trip to Manila any day. I’m a “Provincial” man now. The big city doesn’t appeal to me.

Manila Bay photo courtesy of pixabay

Remarkable Rose May has been transferred

While the staff at our BDO branch is usually very helpful, our main contact, Rose May, was at another BDO outlet now. No problem, right? Just go to the Banco de Oro facility where Rose May was. No can do. Things operate differently in the Philippines.

This ain’t Kansas, Brother

While BDO also has multiple outlets in Iloilo City, you usually have to visit the bank in which you have an account. Aside from ATM transactions, we’ve found this to be the rule rather than the exception.

Of course, back in the States, we could visit any branch of the bank we dealt with.

I like to deal with people at the bank like Rose May. This bank manager had handled previous multiple transactions for us. She was very knowledgeable and always helpful. Frankly, I wasn’t looking forward to dealing with someone else.

screen shot from BDO website

Magnificent Ms. Mel Steps In

Because I don’t like to wait in line, we arrived at our BDO branch promptly at 9:00 am, its opening time.  BDO isn’t like some businesses or government offices we’ve been to in the past. They open on time and are ready to do business.

While I quickly strolled over to the representatives getting ready to help people, I asked if there was a replacement for Rose May. There was. Ms. Mel.

The Old Geezer Waits

First of all, Ms. Mel promptly assigned a bank clerk to deal with my bank draft request. It took almost 60 minutes to fulfill my request. I’ve learned to deal with the wait time for the most part. Since we have multiple accounts at BDO, including a Dollar Account, I didn’t anticipate any problems in obtaining a bank draft in U.S. dollars.

screen shot from BDO website

The Big Boss Drops By

Meanwhile, as we were speaking with Ms. Mel, the “Big Boss,” drops by.

We had been doing business with “The Boss” for years. She was now the Bank Manager. An extremely pleasant, friendly lady. We chatted for a bit as our teller handled our request.

BDO tellers
screen shot from BDO website

Potential Problem Arises

However, my teller informed me that our Dollar Account had now fallen below 500 USD. Therefore, we would now incur a $5 monthly fee.

We keep the bulk of funds in our Peso Account. We’re in the Philippines. We don’t use credit cards. Don’t have any. We pay in pesos but always carry a BDO ATM card with us.

Don’t Write Your Password Down, Dude

Moreover, no, I don’t have the ATM password written down anywhere. I may be an old geezer but I’m not senile…yet.

Now Rose May had taken care of a similar problem for us a couple of years. However, our teller said there was nothing she could do to avoid the monthly debit charge.

I didn’t want to put any dollars into an account we rarely use, so I appealed to Ms. Mel.

Awesome BDO Surprising Senior Switch

I explained the situation to Ms. Mel and how Rose May had helped us before. Ms. Mel asked me my age.

Here’s where the awesome BDO senior switch comes into play. Ms. Mel expressed surprise that I was a senior. She believed I looked much younger. I’ll always take a compliment, sincere or not, but I believed this helpful supervisor was being honest.

My Senior Status Rocks

Because of my senior status, my present dollar account, which required a 500 USD minimum balance in order to avoid monthly fees, could be changed to a Senior Premium Account. Also, the new Senior Dollar Account only required a $200 balance. Thus, I would avoid any monthly fees.

Moreover, I do have to show some activity in the account every two years or it would become dormant. Therefore, I need to deposit something in the account every two years even if it is only one U.S. dollar.

photo courtesy of pixaby

While the extra paperwork took another 30 minutes, I was fine with that. I had my bank draft and sent it off via LBC to the U.S. Embassy in Manila along with my paperwork.

Finally, thanks to Ms. Mel for informing me of this “Awesome BDO Surprising Senior Switch.” Sometimes it pays to be an “old geezer.”

By The Kano

POST AUTHOR: "THE KANO." Dave DeWall, "The Kano", is the Publisher & Editor-in-Chief of "Philippines Plus" in publication since August 2009. He is also the CEO of Lizard Poop Productions and author of the best-selling guide book "The Philippines Expat Advisor." Dave moved to the Philippines in July 2009 from Central Illinois with his lovely wife of over 21 years, "The Sainted Patient Wife." The couple reside in a rural province in Western Visayas, Guimaras. The small island province is said to have the sweetest mangoes in the world. They do not have any children but are the proud owners of eight active canines, including a Belgian Malinois called "Killer" "Killer" has bitten five people over the years along with one goat and a carabao. "Killer" doesn't like strangers. Or goats. Or carabaos.

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