120 years of funding the republic

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SINCE 1897, the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) has been performing its duty to support the government in funding its operations.

Anchored on the theme “Transforming Heritage into Excellence,” the bureau’s celebration of its120th anniversary today looks back to its milestones as it sets forth to redefine excellence in treasury operations.

Looking back
The Treasury began to carry out its duty through the first national treasurer, Baldomero Aguinaldo, whom then-President Emili oAguinaldo appointed as Treasury secretary in 1897. Baldomero’s principal function involved imposition and collection of taxes. Three years later, the Philippine Commission led by former US President William Howard Taft created the Bureau of Insular Treasury, which managed public funds and accounts and initiated supervision of banks in the Philippines.

National Treasurer Rosalia De Leon (7th from right) leads the roadshow for the 20th Tranche of the Retail Treasury Bonds in Cebu City on November 22, 2017.

Timely for the expansion of its duty, the Bureau of Insular Treasury was rechristened as the Bureau of the Treasury in 1905. Since then, it was given the additional task of coinage and currency supervision and later assumed fiscal functions, which a law had mandated to be transferred from Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to the Department of Finance–the issue, service and redemption of government securities.

Mandates
Carrying its vision to be a pro-active manager of public funds, the BTr’s current mandates involve supporting the national government in formulation of borrowing, investment and capital market policies. It also assists in the preparation of annual revenues and expenditure programs of government agencies, as well as their borrowings and cash balances. Apart from formulating guidelines for fiscal and financial policies, the BTr also maintains the government’s books of accounts of cash transactions.

In order to promote private investments, it has also been helping in stabilizing the value of government securities. As the principal custodian of the financial assets of government agencies and instrumentalities, the bureau binds accountable officials and employees to provisions of the Public Bonding Law.

Retail bonds
Meanwhile, the BTr recently issued it 20th retail treasury bonds (RTBs), which form part of the National Government’s program to make government securities available to small investors.

Treasurer De Leon delivers her speech during the 3rd Philippine Junior Finance and Investment Summit at the SMX Convention Center on September 23, 2017.

In their previous statement, the BTr said RTBs have become a stable platform for the government’s financing program and that they were able to “take advantage of ample domestic liquidity.”

The bureau added that the latest RTB issuance will mature in 2022 and is offered to the general investing public from November 20 to November 29 at a minimum value of P5,000. It said interested investors could avail of the securities from 16 qualified selling agents. To promote the RTB issuance, the BTr conducted a series of roadshows in key cities throughout the country.

Last April, the bureau issued P181billion worth of RTB at a coupon rate of 4.25 percent. The BTr said the offering had been oversubscribed for more than 16 times, with total tenders amounting to P500 billion.

The BTr said RTBs are designed to be a “low-risk, higher-yielding and affordable savings instrument.”





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