Bank Frontliners: Commitment To Serve in Time of COVID-19


When I was still working in a bank, I find it extremely challenging to report for work during the rainy season. Imagine braving the torrential downpour while trying to avoid the flooded streets. Transport strikes have also tested my endurance in walking in order to make it on time (or just to make it to the branch!) and then worry later on how I'd be able to go home. With the present COVID-19 pandemic that the country has been dealing with, my seasonal struggles were nothing compared to the threat the bank frontliners are facing now.

Commitment to give more than they take

Several companies have work from home arrangements for their employees while some choose to temporarily stop their business operation. But the people working in the banking industry, they need to keep going. Like the health frontliners, these bank frontliners are giving their time and effort for the organization they work with and for the service of the clients. Very much aware of the health risks involved, their commitment to serve is truly admirable.

Stupid love?

I used to be the recipient of remarks like "Papatayuan ka na ng rebulto", "Papakabayani ka", "Ano mapapala mo dyan, baka mapahamak ka lang?". What they don't understand is an employee's genuine passion to serve and his love for the profession.

I am a BDO account holder and had a very pleasant experience with a BDO branch which is not my branch of account when I had a problem with my ATM account. It was a busy day but they were very accommodating. Now that banks have reduced the number of branches operating, the bulk of transactions at the branches in operation have doubled or even tripled. I'm certain most bank frontliners are not eating on time already.

Sometimes it helps when you engage in short conversations with bank frontliners. Jessa Venus Ilagan, one of the frontliners at BDO Aurora Blvd - Notre Dame Branch shared her story and has brought back memories of years I worked in the bank. How a simple "salamat" made my tiring day tolerable.

Alam po namin yung risk na hinaharap namin every day. Every day mas dumadami ang clients dahil maraming branch na ang close. Some mock as for being "stupid," for risking our health, and our loved ones' safety. pero kasi iniisip din namin makapgbigay ng serbisyo sa mga clients namin. Simpleng "salamat ha" at "ingat kayo dito" nakakawala na ng pagod. Mas marami pa ring clients na na-a-appreciate ginagawa namin for them. 

Lahat po sa branch, mapa-janitor, guards at ibang officers from other branches, mga officers namin, headed by our Branch head Mam Gemma Felizardo, Ms. Carmi Valencia, our AM-OPS, Mam Cecil Mangaliman-Service officer, Mam Emma Arciaga-MO, Mam Maricris Hikayen-BA, pati sa mga relievers galing ibang branch.. sa mga branch managers Mam Rochelle Rabe of BDO Edsa New York, Sir Ariel Alcantara of SM hypermarket Cubao & Ms. Nina Ventura of P.Tuazon branch na andun din joint force para maibigay lahat ng makakaya namin, para makapagbigay serbisyo sa mga kliyente natin. yung mga hindi nila usual na ginagawa, pati sila nagbibilang ng pera, nag aayos ng transaction, para mapabilis lahat ng trabaho gagawin na nila.. sobrang nag exceed sila sa normal na ginagwa nla. Yung trabaho nadistribute ng maayos. Lahat tumutulong. 

The guards, sobrang sakripisyo din sila dahil dun na sila natutulog the whole week,lalo si OIC Pacia, Friday na lang sya nakauwi at luckily po along the way din sya kaya naisabay namin sya, 2hrs kasi nya nilalakad pauwi at papasok kwento niya. 

Team effort po ito. Iniisip namin na kung hindi kami papasok, paano yung mga maiiwan? Hindi kami pinipilit pumasok pero mas pinili namin pumasok. Sabi ko nga "hanggat kaya papasok" kahit dahil sa dami ng kliyente (not our usual everyday volume of clients) kahit di na nakakain at mas malaki chance ng exposure sa virus naka smile padin habang nagttrabaho. For our protection naman po, we wear masks and gloves. At todo hugas ng kamay at alcohol every now & then. Extra challenge pero hindi ko pagpapalit ang maging branch frontliner.

Be part of the solution

If it took an hour or two waiting for your turn to transact, please don't pour your frustration out on the guards and the bank frontliners.  I understand that some of us are already stressed out or overwhelmed. It's a difficult time for all of us. Let us be part of the solution. You can bank the safe way at home with online banking. You will also help in reducing the risk of spreading  COVID-19. 


From a former bank employee to the present day bank frontliners, YOU ARE #MyBankHero and I really appreciate your sacrifice. 

My dear readers, the next time you transact in the bank, greet the bank frontliners with a smile and say "Thank you" before leaving the counter. It means a lot.