MANILA, Philippines – The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) will be giving the national government a P300-billion boost to fight the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The BSP Monetary Board on Monday, March 23, authorized the purchase of government securities from the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) under a repurchase agreement worth P300 billion.
This means that the BSP will invest in debt securities from the BTr. The government will then use the amount to fund initiatives and programs in fighting the pandemic. (READ: Give cash to urban poor during coronavirus lockdown – experts)
The central bank’s move comes after it slashed policy rates by 75 basis points this year and lowered rates on its rediscounting window.
“This arrangement is the most cost-effective way for us to provide an extra lifeline to the national government to support the programs to fight this pandemic,” said National Treasurer Rosalia de Leon.
The amount will be paid in full by the government within 6 months.
“This additional amount is intended to provide support for those most affected by the ECQ (enhanced community quarantine), especially in Luzon, for the next 60 to 90 days,” said BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno. (WATCH: Rappler Talk: Saving the economy from a pandemic)
The government’s economic managers have yet to give an update on how they plan to spend the funds.
So far, they have unveiled a P21.7-billion stimulus package, geared mainly toward supporting the tourism sector. – Rappler.com