How to invest in Retail Treasury Bonds (RTB)

I was visiting various banks yesterday scouting for a good housing loan package when I chanced upon an announcement at the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) in Buendia, Makati about the government offering of Retail Treasury Bonds.

What are Retail Treasury Bonds?

The Philippine Retail Treasury Bond (RTB) is a direct and unconditional obligation of the Philippine government generally considered a safe and liquid investment opportunity. The RTB, issued by the Bureau of Treasury (hence the name), is one way for the government to raise needed funds.

It is safe because it is fully backed by the government and rarely does a government, including the Philippines, defaults on a debt security such as this. It is liquid because it can be traded in the secondary market prior to maturity.

It is called Retail because at Php5,000 (US$112) minimum investment, even individuals can invest here.

* Want to learn more about investing in Philippine RTB? Here are UPDATED articles!

How to compute interest earnings in RTBs

The coupon interest on the 3-year bond issued back in 2008 was 8.50% per annum and for the 5-year bond, 9.0%.

Interest is paid every quarter so you’ll receive four interest payments every year.

It is, however, subject to 20% withholding tax. Meaning, given the following investment, the actual return would be:

  • Investment Amount: Php50,000
  • Invested in: 3-year RTB paying 8.50% coupon
  • Gross Quarterly Interest: Php1,062.50 (Php50,000 x 8.50% x 1/4)
  • 20% Withholding Tax: Php212.50
  • Net Interest to be Received: Php850.00 every quarter

A Php50,000 investment in the 3-year bond yields a net quarterly interest of Php850.00. Since this is paid every quarter, the total interest receivable during the year is Php3,400 (Php850.00 x 4) which represents a net return of 6.80%.

For the 5-year RTB:

  • Investment Amount: Php50,000
  • Invested in: 5-year RTB paying 9.00% coupon
  • Gross Quarterly Interest: Php1,125.00 (Php50,000 x 9.00% x 1/4)
  • 20% Withholding Tax: Php225.00
  • Net Interest to be Received: Php900.00 every quarter

Investing Php50,000 in the 5-year bond earns a net quarterly interest of Php900.00. The total interest for 1 year is Php3,600 (Php900.00 x 4) which represents a net return of 7.20%.

The returns are not that bad considering that this opportunity is virtually risk-free.

The requirements to make a placement in RTBs are:

  • (1) a DBP savings account (the bank account where the quarterly interest will be credited);
  • (2) an Investor’s Undertaking Form (provided by DBP);
  • (3) a Special Power of Attorney form (also provided by DBP);
  • (3) a valid ID; and, of course
  • (4) the money (minimum Php5,000; increments of Php5,000).

The bad thing, though, is that despite the original deadline, the government is thinking of cutting the offering period short supposedly because they have raised enough money already.

* Here are UPDATED articles about investing in Philippine RTBs!

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34 thoughts on “How to invest in Retail Treasury Bonds (RTB)”

  1. hi there,
    i am an avid reader of your website and a forum member(not active though)
    i’m working as an OFW and am interested in putting up my excess savings on some money market opportunities.
    can you tell me when is the due date for filing and submission of application on DBP’s offer?
    Thanks a lot!
    keep writing…


  2. Hi Joeben, the last day of the offering is supposedly on the 29th but as the news article mentioned, the government might cut this short because they’ve already reached the target amount of funds. I suggest you make the investment as soon as possible if you want to participate in the offering.

  3. We maybe to late to invest in RTBs. Just went to BDO today to inquire the RTBs. They are already sold out and will not accept anymore.

    A disturbing memo from Bureau of Treasury states that “sale of the 3-year and 5-year RTB10 is already closed as the required volume has been fully subscribed”.

    Feel very bad about this. This one of those good investments for this year and I miss the boat. What is so annoying is that print ads came to late to be of any help, by then big investors have already grabbed all the RTBs.

  4. “The volume has already been set. We didn’t want to accept anymore because money is flowing out of our ears,” Mr. Roberto Tan, National treasurer told BusinessWorld in an interview.

    Bond sale closed, raises P70 billion

  5. I have some questions regarding RTB’s:
    1. How often do they offer RTB?
    2. How would you know if it is already offered on banks? do they publish it on newspapers o in their websites?

    Thanks for your answers.

  6. peepz, surf through the Bureau of Treasury web for the schedule of their auction sale of treasury bills and bonds. they also have their list of accredited dealers.

    • @saku, check the Bureau of Treasury site for announcements related to the RTB issue. Banks don’t normally announce it on their websites. Branches sometimes don’t even know these offerings. Better to always contact the Treasury Group of a bank regarding these placements.

      @lezel, because RTBs are government-issued, the risk of default is low. A few disadvantages would be the low return you are getting and the illiquidity, because you are tied with the instrument until maturity unless, of course, you can sell it to another investor prior to maturity but that again is not an easy thing to do.

  7. hi po,

    tanong ko lang po, ano po mga banks ang nag-oofer retailed treasury bonds?

    pwede ho ba mag invest kahit student lang po ako? kasi savings po gagamitin ko

  8. @clent, nde naman problema kung estudyante ka o may trabaho na. Ang mahalaga, may pera kang pang-invest 🙂 Basta abot sa minimum investment amount yung pera mo, pwede na yun. Halos lahat ng malalaking bangko sa Pinas, nago-offer ng RTBs. Although ang branches minsan alam ito, mas maganda na kontakin mo na lang ang HQ ng bangko. Pa-connect ka sa Trust Department kasi sila normally ang may hawak ng ganitong investments.

  9. Greetings,
    I have a premyo savings bond 1974. I do believed that there is a value to this because this certificate is one of the collectibles of the decade.

    If some one interested please contact me /

    Thank you.

  10. RTBs are very safe and individuals who can afford to wait for 3 or 5 years should buy all they can lay their hands on. They are safe and not limited to PDIC insurance of 500,000 pesos because the government is the last one that goes out of business before all the other banks. Time deposits with any bank has limited guaranteed amount of their deposit. RTBs are the smart choice of big banks’ suki depositors and don’t publicized this, making it hard to find and buy them. I’m just not knowledgeable on the details as to how individual buyers can participate in the auction and notknowing at what interest rate it would be issued at auction.

  11. i everyone, just wanna ask wat is te present interest rate for rtb? san ko malalman kng my offer ng rtb? salamat sa mga gustong sumagot.


  12. @martin, the RTB offerings are usually announced via the Philippine Treasury website and also in newspapers.

    @walter, tenor means the length of the investment duration. The 3 sets of RTB offerings in that article include the 3-year, 5-year and 7-year tenor investments. Closing the sale of 2 of 3 tenors means the government will stop selling 2 of the 3 sets of investments. Specifically, these are the 3- and 5-year RTBs. Only the 7-year RTB will remain open to the public.

  13. Where can I go to invest in the government’s retail treasury bonds.
    Commercial and savings banks do not seem to know about it.

  14. hi i just want to ask.. if someone knows a website where we can get daily updates of government bonds, including its daily, weekly and monthly updates for these countries,. please email me —… thank you thank you









    Hong Kong



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