Treasury introduces bond buying app

Published July 19, 2020, 10:00 PM

by Chino S. Leyco

The Bureau of the Treasury launched the first mobile application allowing small investors to invest in retail treasury bonds (RTBs) and redeem them through electronic payment channels.

In partnership with the Union Bank of the Philippines and Philippine Digital Asset Exchange (PDAX), the bureau introduced the Bonds.PH mobile app that accepts investments in the government’s ongoing offering of five-year RTBs, dubbed the PROGRESO Bonds.

The PROGRESO Bonds, now being offered to the general investing public in minimum denominations of P5,000 until August 7 this year, have an annual fixed interest rate of 2.625 percent, payable every quarter.

National Treasurer Rosalia De Leon said the PROGRESO bond issuance, the 24th RTB issued by the government and the seventh under the Duterte administration, forms part of the national government’s 2020 funding program.

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said making the buying and selling of PROGRESO bonds available through the app serves to further expand financial inclusion among Filipinos while also helping the government raise funds for its COVID-19 response.

The Bonds PH app can be downloaded on both Android devices via Google Play and IOS devices via the Apple App Store. 

The app accepts an investment for as low as P5,000 and offers arrays of electronic payment channels such as Instapay, PESONet, GCash and Paymaya.

The Bonds PH app is also completely digital, available 24/7 and accessible to Filipinos from anywhere in the world. 

Aside from the PROGRESO bond auction, the Treasury also announced a “switch” offer that will allow investors of specific bonds maturing in 2020 and 2021 to shift to RTB 24 at no extra cost.

The total outstanding amount of bonds eligible for the switch is about P321 billion. 

For investors purchasing RTBs through the Bonds PH app, the interest from their investments will go directly to their electronic wallet in the app. 

They can also redeem their investments through the app even prior to the maturity date.  

RTBs are medium- to long-term investments that pay higher interest rates than time deposits and are virtually risk- and default- free because they are direct, unconditional and general obligations of the Republic of the Philippines. 

RTBs offer fixed quarterly interest income compared to other financial instruments.