By Chino Leyco
Department of Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III has urged the members of the family of President Rodrigo Duterte to be among the first to invest in the forthcoming sale of the “Marawi Bonds.”
Dominguez was referring to the retail bonds the government plans to sell in the domestic market that will fund the ongoing reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts in the devastated city of Marawi.
The Bureau of the Treasury is leading the sale of the Marawi Bonds and plans to issue an initial P13.5 billion worth of IOUs.
The sales pitch was made to the First Family during the visit of Honeylet Avanceña and daughter Veronica “Kitty” Duterte to the Ayuntamiento building in Intramuros, Manila.
According to Dominguez, Avanceña and Kitty were impressed by the elegance of the reconstructed Ayuntamiento de Manila, considered an architectural masterpiece which is now home to the Bureau of the Treasury.
“They viewed the historical sections of the Ayuntamiento as well as the modern auction room,” Dominguez said in a Viber message sent to finance reporters. “We asked Ms. Honeylet and Veronica to invest some of their savings in Marawi Bonds.”
Last Monday, Avanceña and her daughter toured the Treasury bureau’s headquarters in Intramuros along with Dominguez and other Department of Finance (DOF) officials.
Finance Assistant Secretary and Spokesperson Antonio Joselito G. Lambino II explained that the scheduled visit was part of an educational tour for President Duterte’s 14-year-old daughter.
“Honeylet Avanceña brought her [daughter] to other sites in the area associated with Jose Rizal,” Lambino said.
First built in 1599, today’s Ayuntamiento is the fourth structure to stand in the same location. It had housed the session halls of the Philippine Assembly, the first Supreme Court, the Lower and Upper Houses of Congress when the bicameral system was adopted, and the City Council of Manila.
Offices of Spanish and American Governors General and several executive departments, including the DOF, were also located there through the centuries.
On December 9, 1912, an overnight vigil was held by the Knights of Rizal over the remains of Jose Rizal in Ayuntamiento’s Marble Hall. The next day, Rizal’s remains were brought to their final resting place in Luneta.