Philippines COVID-19 stimulus gets boost from Bangko Sentral, Treasury


Posted at Mar 26 2020 04:09 PM

Workers coming from a construction site cross Jones Bridge before darkness falls on March 24, 2020. The sun sets in Manila as the 'enhanced community quarantine' is imposed to combat the threat of COVID-19. Fernando G. Sepe Jr., ABS-CBN News

MANILA -- The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said it would remit in advance P20 billion to the national government while the Treasury announced a P30-billion treasury bond sale, as state agencies moved to fund a coronavirus stimulus.

Citing the "extraordinary" circumstances, the BSP said it would remit the amount to state coffers, instead of using it to increase its capitalization, as called for by recent amendments to the central bank charter.

"We are one government. We are one Filipino nation. And we, at the BSP, shall support all efforts to fight this once-in-a-lifetime pandemic and keep the economy afloat," BSP Gov. Benjamin Diokno said.

The 35-day T-bills worth P30 billion will be issued in April, National Treasurer Rosalia de Leon said. "Given appetite right now for short tenors with hold to cash, this will be more attractive to investors at this time," she said.

For the entire month of April, the Treasury hopes to raise P190 billion from debt papers, the bureau said.

President Rodrigo Duterte's economic managers will do "what it takes" to rescue the economy from the coronavirus pandemic, including incurring a wider deficit, Finance Assistant Secretary Tony Lambino said earlier on Thursday.