The Philippine government is planning to launch a retail dollar bond offering next month, Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said.
“We plan to launch it maybe next month. We’re thinking along USD 2 to USD 3 billion. This will be treated as domestic debt. We are marketing this to our overseas Filipino workers and even residents in the country. You don’t even need to have a dollar account,” he said at the launch of “Australia’s Partnerships for Infrastructure initiative in the Philippines” in Pasay City on Friday.
“I’m confident it will get a good reception. It’s tax-free and it’s in dollars, so you don’t fear it will depreciate,” he added.
Proceeds from the bond offering will be used to finance the budget, Mr. Diokno said.
The Philippines’ last retail dollar bond sale was in 2021, when it raised USD 1.6 billion.
Mr. Diokno said that the government is also eyeing euro-denominated bonds.
The government plans to borrow PHP 2.207 trillion this year, with 75% expected to be sourced domestically.
Mr. Diokno also said that he supports the bid to ban the Philippine offshore gaming operators or POGOs.
“I’m opposed to it…(because) of the socio-economic impacts and if we look at the revenue impact, we don’t really lose anything,” he added.
The Senate Ways and Means Committee is currently investigating the benefits and costs of continued offshore gaming operations in the country.
Several lawmakers, including Senator Sherwin T. Gatchalian, have called for the government to permanently ban POGO operations in the Philippines amid cases and incidents of illegal activities, including kidnapping, tax evasion, and money laundering. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson