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BSP to purchase P300-B in gov't securities to support COVID-19 effort


The Philippine central bank is set to purchase some P300-billion worth of securities from the Bureau of Treasury (BTr) to support government programs against the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

In a statement, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said it will purchase government securities under a reverse repurchase agreement with a maximum repayment of six months.

"We continue to support the government's initiatives and objectives during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ)," BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said.

"This additional amount is intended to provide support for those most affected by the ECQ, especially in Luzon, for the next 60 to 90 days," he elaborated.

From 12:00 a.m. on March 17, the entirety of Luzon was placed on enhanced community quarantine until April 12, 2020, restricting travel within the region in efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.

"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.

Just last week, the Monetary Board slashed policy rates by 50 basis points, providing economic stimulus amid the COVID-19 health crisis.

For its part, the Philippine economic team earlier rolled out a P27.1-billion package to help contain the spread of COVID-19 and to provide economic relief to businesses affected by the threat.

The bulk of the amount, equivalent to P14 billion, will be used for programs of the Department of Tourism (DOT), said to be the "most affected."
— DVM, GMA News

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