National Treasurer Rosalia de Leon (File photo)

MANILA – Retail Treasury Bond (RTB) offerings accounted for 35.2 percent of the government’s outstanding debt securities in 2021, helping raise funds for its pandemic response programs while fulfilling President Rodrigo Duterte’s goal of expanding financial literacy and inclusion among Filipinos. 
 
The Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) said it raised a total of PHP463.3 billion and PHP360 billion from the issuance of RTB-25 and RTB-26, respectively.  
 
On top of RTBs, National Treasurer Rosalia de Leon said the BTr also successfully launched in October 2021 the government’s first-ever Retail Dollar Bonds (RDBs), which raised US$1.6 billion from the five-year and 10-year tenors.
 
To widen the reach of RTBs to small retail investors, de Leon said the BTr maximized the use of digital platforms through its online ordering platform that is currently available for Land Bank of the Philippines (LandBank), Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), the First Metro Securities Brokerage Corp. (FMSBC), and China Banking Corp. (ChinaBank) account holders; as well as the Bonds.Ph mobile app and the Overseas Filipino Bank (OFBank) app. 
 
She said overseas Filipinos (OFs) in 70 countries were able to invest in RTBs, RDBs, and the Premyo bonds using these platforms. 
 
“The BTr partnered with our foreign service posts to conduct financial literacy seminars for overseas Filipinos. We have reached many more Filipinos, including those based in East Africa and South America,” de Leon said. 
 
In line with its financial inclusion initiatives, the BTr has also allowed the online submission of RTB orders, along with the online ordering of government securities, which has benefited small investors. 
 
Moreover, Government Securities Eligible Dealers (GSEDs) are now enabled to directly input their retail bond switch orders through the National Registry of Scripless Securities (NRoSS). 
 
Previously, GSEDs were required to fax or mail documentary requirements, which were then manually encoded by the Securities Origination Division into the NRoSS.
 
De Leon said the BTr also launched its own mobile app last year to serve as a digital information hub of the bureau and its issuances. 
 
“Potential investors were provided with accessible information about the BTr and its functions, as well as details of latest offerings of retail bonds. The app also redirects users to the different investment channels available,” de Leon said. 
 
The BTr is also in the final phase of developing the Financial Literacy or FiLi app that aims to promote financial literacy and investor education among Filipinos. 
 
The said application is web-based and will allow retail investors to identify their risk appetite, recommend a portfolio in accordance with their risk appetite, and run simulations of possible returns based on the recommended portfolio. (PR)