The Philippines aims to issue its first-ever US dollar-denominated retail dollar bond (RDBs) targeted for overseas Filipinos (OFs) to augment government funds, National Treasurer Rosalia de Leon said.

In a virtual briefing on Thursday, July 15 de Leon said they are considering having the minimum investment in the planned debt issuance at USD300.

“This product serves as a more accessible financial instrument when compared to traditional ROPs (the dollar-denominated bond referred to as Republic of the Philippines bond), which are available for a minimum of USD200,000,” she said.

De Leon said the planned offering is another investment option for OFs, especially those based in the US.

“Investors are not only guaranteed a safeguard from potential FX (foreign exchange) risks or exchange risks but more importantly an opportunity to maintain the value of their hard-earned US dollar savings,” she added.

De Leon said investors would also enjoy the full value of their investments because the government would assume the final withholding tax and interest for the ROPs.

She said the government has teamed up with several financial institutions to ensure that OFs can easily open bank accounts and invest in ROPs.

“We’re confident that with the insights and feedback of our fellow compatriots from around the world, we will be one-stop closer to fulfilling our goal of further strengthening inclusion and financial literacy for the ordinary Filipino,” she added.

The government has set a PHP3-trillion borrowing program for this year, 80 percent of which is targeted to be sourced domestically primarily through the issuance of Treasury bills (T-bills) and Treasury bonds (T-bonds).