June 14, 2019
The government will push through with the planned Marawi bonds issuance, the Department of Finance (DoF) stressed, but noted it is still exploring ways to make the fund-raising activity attractive to investors.
“When we start getting into the bigger expenditures, then we will be issuing the Marawi bonds,” Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd was quoted in a statement released by his department on Thursday.
Dominguez is pertaining to the next phase of the Bangon Marawi Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Recovery Program, which involves building large-scale infrastructure projects in the city devastated by months-long siege by the Islamic State-inspired Maute Group in 2017.
He said the ongoing clearing operations in Marawi as well as the provision of housing and basic services such as water to its residents are currently being funded by allocations in the national budget, which are currently sufficient to fulfill such requirements.
The Finance chief said personnel involved in clearing operations continue to find unexploded ordnance as they go about their task, which is why work has been proceeding at a “careful” pace.
“But there has been a lot of work, especially in providing housing and water and sewage disposal facilities for the residents in that area already. So fortunately, we’ve been able to fund it from the GAA (General Appropriations Act), and when we get to the real big construction projects, that’s when we will be issuing the bonds,” he said.
Meanwhile, National Treasurer Rosalia de Leon said the government would have to “calibrate” the amount of Marawi bonds that would be issued based on the financing requirements needed for the implementation of the rehabilitation program.
“In preparation for that, we’ve also been doing some features, including the agri-agra eligibility that we have secured to make the bonds more attractive. In fact, there are also some structures that we are also considering to make it more attractive to retail investors,” de Leon said.
Republic Act 10000 or the “Agri-Agra Reform Credit Act of 2009,” allows banks to invest in government-listed priority programs a portion of their investible funds mandated to be set aside as loans for farmers, fisherfolk and other agriculture-based workers.
The DoF earlier said it is looking to raise P13.5 billion from the issuance of the bonds.
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