MANILA -- Bank of the Philippine Islands said Monday it hoped to raise P3 billion from the country's first COVID-19 response bonds and help fund a lending program for small businessmen.
The bonds have a tenor of 1.75 years with an interest rate of 3.05 percent per annum, Ayala-led BPI told the stock exchange. The debt will be offered from June 22 to July 17.
"MSMEs have been significantly affected by the global pandemic and BPI recognizes that these enterprises, which account for a significant percentage of the country’s employment, are crucial to the growth and recovery of our economy," BPI said, referring to micro, small and medium enterprises.
"Supporting these businesses will also help create a more inclusive society where all Filipinos benefit from the country’s economic gains," it said.
Unemployment fell 17.7 percent or 7.3 million Filipinos while thousands of businesses ceased to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting lockdowns. Metro Manila is under general community quarantine until June 30, meaning businesses and public transport operate at limited capacity.