THE prize pool for the government’s retail-investor targeted Premyo Bonds has been expanded to P4.5 million every quarter from the initial P3 million, according to the Department of Finance (DoF).

“Because of the good reception of Premyo Bonds, the issue size was increased from the initial P3 billion to close to P5 billion, and the total prize pool was likewise increased from the initial P3 million to P4.5 million to be raffled out quarterly,” the DoF said in a statement Sunday.

Bondholders will be eligible for cash prizes of up to P1 million. The DoF said one winner per quarter will be awarded a raffle prize of the P1 million prize.

It said the prize pool will now consist of one winner of P1 million, 15 winners of P100,000 (from 10 winners previously) and 100 winners of P20,000 (from 50 winners) during each of the quarterly draws.

“From 61 winners, there will now be a total of 116 winners per draw,” it said.

The Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) raised P4.961 billion during its three-week offer period that ended in December from the issue of the one-year bonds, following oversubscriptions to the initial issue size of P3 billion.

National Treasurer Rosalia V. de Leon has said the agency will propose to Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III to continue with the Premyo bonds following the first issue’s strong reception.

Mr. Dominguez said in the statement that Premyo bonds will now be a “part of the government’s proactive financing strategy” supporting the government’s efforts to achieve financial inclusion.

The one-year bonds carry a 3% annual rate, payable quarterly.

Apart from the cash rewards, the DoF said the quarterly raffle prize pool will also include condominiums and a house, all net of taxes, fees and charges.

In the statement, it said more than 44% of total investments were valued at P5,000 and below, “indicating that the Premyo Bonds successfully reached retail investors.”

BTr said online investors were 13% more numerous and the value of investment 6% better than the performance of the 22nd issue of retail treasury bonds (RTB).

BTr said the offer expanded its retail investor base overseas with online orders received from 12 other countries.

“The Premyo Bonds were intended to build on the momentum from the recent issuances of Retail Treasury Bonds, or RTBs, in which we saw an increasing trend of participation from individual investors. By designing the Premyo Bonds to include a cash and non-cash reward (component), our aim was to entice more individuals and institutions to directly invest in government securities,” Ms. de Leon was quoted as saying in the statement.

As of Dec. 13, 2019, over 1,700 new bank accounts were opened, attributed to the Premyo bond offer, which contribute to financial inclusion “by encouraging unbanked Filipinos to start saving and investing,” BTr said.

The proceeds from the fund-raising activity have been added to the national government’s financing pool for health and educational programs, among others.

“By way of a proactive financial literacy campaign and enhancing access via over-the-counter and online channels, we hope to promote financial inclusion by educating investors not only about the economics of smart investing, but also about our individual roles as Filipinos in contributing to nation building by participating in government securities,” Ms. de Leon added. — Beatrice M. Laforga