Gov’t urges public: invest in retail treasury bonds; Roque cites $126.36 M in new loans, grants

Published July 6, 2020, 4:38 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

The government has urged the public to invest in retail treasury bonds (RTB), saying it is one of the safest forms of investment.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque announced that the Bureau of the Treasury will offer retail treasury bonds to the public starting July 15. The proceeds of the RTB issuance is expected to raise government funds for the coronavirus response.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr.

“Mabuting balita po, ang Bureau of Treasury ay ang-o-offer po ng Retail Treasury Bonds or RTBs sa publiko mula July 15, Miyerkules po iyan ng susunod na linggo (The good news is that the Bureau of Treasury will offer retail treasury bonds or RTBs to the public starting July 15, Wednesday next week),” Roque said during a Palace press briefing.

“Dahil ang RTBs po ay government bonds, meaning ito po ay direct obligation ng gobyerno sa investors. Isa po ito sa pinakaligtas na investment na puwede nating paglagyan ng pera. Sa maturity, siguradong makukuha ninyo nang buo ang inyong initial investment (Because the RTBs are government bonds, it means this is a direct obligation of the government to investors. This is one of the safest investments where we could invest our money. On maturity, we will certainly get our full initial investment),” he said.

Roque also noted that investors may earn more in RTB compared to the other types of deposits made in banks.

“Siyempre po mayroon namang interest din iyan. Mas mataas po ang interest na makukuha rito kumpara sa kung ilalagay ninyo ang pera ninyo sa ordinary deposits sa mga bangko ngayon (Of course there is the interest. The interest you will receive is higher compared if you put your money in ordinary deposits in banks today),” he said.

Roque did not provide other details of the RTB issuance during his televised briefing.

Update on loans, grants 

Roque also said the government has secured an additional US$126.36 million in loans and grants to bankroll efforts to contain the spread of the pandemic.

He said World Bank approved a US$100 million loan for the country’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Project last April.  The WB financing aims to strengthen emergency COVID-19 health care response through purchases of PPEs, medical and laboratory equipment, medicines and reagents; enhancing isolation/quarantine facilities and laboratory capacity; technical and operational support.

On grants, he said Japan has extended a $18.36 million grant to the Philippines for the provision of medical equipment for the Department of Health.

The Asian Development Bank also provided a $5 million grant for provision of food and other emergency supplies, and another $3 million for healthcare and life-preserving activities for communities hit by the pandemic.

In mid-June, President Duterte said the government has acquired US$6.4 billion in foreign loans from multilateral lenders and the commercial markets to help bankroll its coronavirus response.

Duterte has directed the economic team to look for additional funding sources, even if it has to borrow money, to sustain the government’s efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus. He admitted that the government was running low on funds for the coronavirus-related programs.