Bangko Sentral remits P20 billion in dividends for coronavirus efforts
MANILA, Philippines – The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) remitted P20 billion as advance dividends to the national government to aid the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
The central bank did so on Thursday, March 26, despite its new charter no longer mandating it to remit dividends to the national government. Instead, the amended charter provides that any and all declared dividends of the BSP in favor of the government shall be released for the payment of the BSP's increase in capitalization.
"[C]onsidering this extraordinary time, the Monetary Board has approved to defer the application of the BSP's dividends for 2019 to the BSP's capital and remit P20 billion advance/partial dividends to support the [national government's] programs during this enhanced community quarantine due to COVID-19," the central bank said.
The advance dividends constitute 87% of the estimated total dividends based on the BSP's unaudited financial statements for 2020.
"The BSP has and is ready to employ the necessary tools in its arsenal to address the impact of COVID-19 while staying true to its mandate," said BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno.
The latest move is part of the BSP's aggressive steps to inject cash into government coffers. It previously pledged to purchase P300 billion worth of government bonds.