DEPT  OF  FINANCE  PLANNING  TO  ISSUE  RETAIL  TREASURY  BOND  FOR  OFWs

MANILA, NOVEMBER 5, 2007
(STAR) By Iris C. Gonzales - The Department of Finance (DOF) is planning to issue Retail Treasury bonds (RTBs) next year specifically for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) but is still studying which currency is most appropriate for the offer, Finance Undersecretary and Acting National Treasurer Roberto Tan said.

“We are actively pursuing and finding out the most appropriate instrument that we can issue,” Tan told reporters. Tan said the government is particularly looking for the most appropriate instrument to be issued and at the same time settling the problem on legal jurisdiction.

“We will have a problem on legal jurisdiction if we issue foreign denominated instruments.We might consider local currency. It is important for them to get higher yields for their investment,” he said.

He said the offer is unlikely to materialize this year as the government is still studying how to go about the plan.

After determining the most attractive instrument, Tan said the government would have to market this to make sure that OFWs are aware of the proposed investment facility.

Tan said that the government is still finalizing how much would be offered as well as the amount for each investment.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) earlier proposed the bonds in an effort to help OFWS and their beneficiaries put their earnings in worthy investments. The BSP said the proposed bonds may be modeled after the government’s retail treasury bonds in order to avoid cross-border regulatory problems.

BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. has said that the RTB model was a good example where overseas Filipino could buy either directly in the Philippines or through their beneficiaries.

The government has been coming up with investment projects for OFWs to help them park their earnings in worthy long-term investments so that they would be able to save their money.

OFWs and their families have caused alarm over the steady rise of the peso against the greenback, as this diminishes the value of their dollar earnings.

The peso hit a fresh seven-year high against the beleaguered dollar last October 31 after breaking the 44 to $1 level since July 2000 last October 30. It closed at 43.675 to $1 on Wednesday from Tuesday’s P43.85 against the dollar.

There are at least eight million Filipinos abroad working as domestic helpers, seamen, medical professionals, teachers, accountants and engineers, among other professions.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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