Freeman Cebu Business

Bankers: Deploying guards to ATM sites not feasible

Carlo S. Lorenciana - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Key officials from the Cebu Bankers Club pointed out the Cebu City Council’s proposed policy ordering banks to deploy guards in ATM sites is “not financially feasible” for the banking industry.

In an interview recently, CBC President Gino C. Gonzalez said that employing other security personnel to guard Automated Teller Machines would be additional financial costs to bank institutions.

He pointed out that a lot of ATMs are now available outside the banks, and that sending security guards to off-site machines is another financial burden to them.

“On our part, we try to convince them nga di gyod financially feasible kung ipadayon ang ordinance,” Gonzalez noted. “Though, we are security conscious pero kinahanglan pud nga i-balance nato ang possibilities.”

The bank executive cited the operating costs for ATMs such as cost of the machine, rental fee (for machines outside the banks), electricity charges and real property taxes. If the said ordinance is passed, he added, manpower cost would be another financial obligation. He mentioned ATM normally costs between P500,000 to P1 million.

“Kung ipatong pa na nga cost, makaingon ta nga alkanse nang mga bangko. I would think the banks might think twice. Expensive ra kaayo ni for minimal returns.”

Gonzalez also said that based on his computation, operating costs including the salary for guards could go as high as P80,000 a month. “Siyempre negosyo man ta, naa gyod tay kapalit. Unya unsa ra may kita-on namo? Kanang charges mao ra nay kita-on sa mga bangko.”

ATMs only get revenues from charges -- usually P11 every transaction -- imposed on bank clients who withdraw money from another bank machine.

Gonzalez, who is Cebu area head of Philippine National Bank, noted putting of ATMs in many commercial areas is simply a service of the banks to their clients. 

For his part, Maximo Eleccion, the club’s vice president, explained that banks currently deploy roving guards to check the security of ATM sites, although they may not be present all the time.

Eleccion of Bank of the Philippine Islands suggested that banks must instead take on “natural surveillance” which means that bank machines should be located along streets in high-traffic areas, in retail establishments and well-lit public places.

Banks could also coordinate with business establishments to direct their security persons to guard at the same the ATMs situated in their premises, he added.

Gonzalez also urged the public to discern when planning to do an ATM transaction, particularly pointing out that they have to be aware of the current security of the place.


“Well, the objective (of the City Council) is good but, on our part, we also have to weigh in the circumstances,” BPI's Eleccion added.

However, he expressed that if in case the city government would really pass the ordinance, all they could do is to comply.

“My personal view is that banks have always been compliant to the laws, ordinances and regulations. We have always been governed by these (things),” he explained.

Cebu City Councilor Noel Wenceslao has proposed a measure “requiring any person operating Automated Teller Machine within Cebu City” to prevent ATM-related crimes such as robbery and skimming.

The said ordinance would cover all ATM placed in banks, department stores, convenience stores and even in remote areas within the city. If approved, violators would be penalized P2,000, P4,000 and P5,000 for first, second and third offense, respectively.

Wenceslao told The FREEMAN that he is going to invite officials from the CBC to join the council members in a public hearing on September 3 to discuss the issue. The Philippine National Police will also attend the hearing.

On the other hand, the two CBC officials stated they are willing to attend the said inquiry so they could also make their concerns known to government officials. (FREEMAN) 

vuukle comment











  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with