BSP to remit P20-B dividends to fight COVID-19
By Rose de la Cruz
In virtually all sectors of society, people are moving logistics, money and food to ensure that Frontliners and the people at large are not wanting in anything during the emergency community quarantine, now on its second week in Metro Manila and one week for the rest of the country.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas today said it would remit P20 billion as advance dividend to the National Government, constituting 87 percent of estimated total dividends based on BSP’s unaudited financial statement for 2020.
Under its newly amended charter, the BSP is no longer mandated to remit dividends to the NG. Section 2 of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 7653, as amended by R.A. 11211, provides that any/all declared dividends of the BSP in favor of the NG shall be released and disbursed immediately for the payment of the BSP’s increase in capitalization. Nevertheless, considering this extraordinary time, the Monetary Board has approved to defer the application of the BSP’s dividends for 2019 to the BSP’s capital and remit P20 billion advance/partial dividends to support the NG’s programs during this enhanced community quarantine due to COVID-19.
BSP will remit the P20 billion advance dividends today, 26 March 2020, through direct credit to the Treasurer of the Philippines-Treasurer Single Account, which is maintained with the BSP.
BSP Gov. Benjamin E. Diokno said we are one government, one Filipino nation and we, at the BSP, shall support all efforts to fight this once-in-a-lifetime pandemic and keep the economy afloat. The BSP has and is ready to employ the necessary tools in its arsenal to address the impact of COVID-19 while staying true to its mandate.”
To date, the BSP has arranged for the purchase of government securities from the Bureau of Treasury (BTr) under a repurchase agreement in the amount of P300 billion, cut the reserve requirement ratio cut by 200 basis points and policy rate by 50 basis points, enabled continued access to banking institutions, and advocated that banks extend the greatest possible help they can to serve not just our economy, but also the Filipino people.
ROTARY AID TO QC BARANGAYS
Rotary District 3780 Gov. Rep. Bernadette Herrera of Bagong Henerasyon partylist, said her organization is extending food aid to 142 Quezon City barangays to ensure that no barangay gets left behind. Rotary has 101 clubs and each club has adopted or 2 barangays.
She also called on software developers to create a mobile app to identify COVID-19 cases.
As Rotary International District 3780 Governor, our guide to all our local chapters is safety first, then help their local communities face COVID-19 and always coordinate with the barangay leaders and mayor for effective allocation of resources.
We remind all Rotary Clubs that part of ensuring safety is making sure the disinfectants and personal protective equipment we access meet the standards of the Food and Drug Administration.
Among the specific priorities now include helping identify and isolate all mild confirmed, the PUIs, and the PUMs. “We must help the LGUs find places where all these suspect cases can be isolated away from the general population,” she stressed.
She appealed to the software developers in Quezon City to help by developing, testing, and rolling out as fast as possible a mobile app for no-contact house-by-house surveying for identifying suspect cases and vulnerable residents.
We must identify and quarantine all the vulnerable population sub-groups like seniors, the pregnant, those with illnesses, and especially the ones whose immune systems are weakened like those with cancer, kidney problems, lung issues, and HIV.
PREPARE FOR INCOMING OFWS
Rep. Jocelyn Tulfo, ACT-CIS partylist, called on the government to be ready for more returning overseas Filipino workers because of falling crude oil prices as an aftershock of COVID-19 and falling sea-based deployment from oil-rich countries in the coming months.
This means more OFWs will be coming home and outgoing OFWs would have to find work elsewhere.
This early, the departments of labor and employment, foreign affairs and the National Economic and Development Authority should prepare for more OFW balikbayans and the consequent economic impact.
DOLE should look for other countries where OFWs can be deployed.
The Build-Build-Build program should have jobs for the technically-skilled OFWs – Pinoy engineers, architects, plumbers, electricians, etc.
It has now become even more urgent for the Senate to approve its version of the OFW Department bill when Congress reconvenes, she added.