Home LOCAL NEWS Govt debt expands to over P10.1 trillion

Govt debt expands to over P10.1 trillion

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The government’s outstanding debt rose to another all-time high of P10.13 trillion at end-November 2020 as domestic borrowings ballooned, the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) reported on Wednesday.

Latest Treasury data showed that the amount was a 1.1-percent or P106.36-billion increase from P10.02 trillion at end-October.

Of the figure, 29 percent was secured from external creditors and 71 percent was generated locally.

Domestic debt hit P7.19 trillion, a 1.6-percent increase from end-October’s P7.07 trillion, while foreign obligations slid by 0.3 percent to P2.94 trillion.

Outstanding debt a year ago was at P7.70 trillion, of which P5.11 trillion were local and P2.59 trillion were foreign.

The Treasury traced the increased domestic obligations to “the net issuance of domestic government securities.”

Domestic gross borrowings amounted to P2.38 trillion at end-November. Net Treasury bills hit P465.31 billion, while Treasury bonds and retail Treasury bonds reached P631.74 billion and P738.54 billion, respectively, net of the P88.56-billion domestic bond exchange.

Short-term borrowing from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas amounted to P540 billion.

The bureau attributed the lower foreign obligations to “the P10.74-billion net effect of currency adjustments, particularly [the] peso appreciation offsetting net foreign loan availments amounting to P2.55 billion.”

External financing posted an inflow of P583.64 billion in January to November. For the period, project loan availments reached P32.93 billion ($0.68 billion) while program loans totaled P364.64 billion ($7.58 billion). Offshore bond issuances amounted to P186.06 billion ($3.87 billion).

Government-guaranteed debt declined by 1.1 percent or P5.02 billion to P442.82 billion at end-November.

“The drop in the level of guarantees was due to the net repayment on both domestic and external guarantees amounting to P4.26 billion, while local currency appreciation against the USD (US dollars) further trimmed the peso value of external guarantees by P1.40 billion,” the Treasury explained.

These more than offset the P0.63-billion effect of third-currency appreciation on external guarantees.

Earlier, data from the Department of Budget and Management showed that state debt is seen to hit P10.16 trillion by the end of 2020. If so, it would be 31.42-percent higher than the P7.73-trillion liabilities at the end of 2019.

In a comment, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. chief economist Michael Ricafort sees the debt rising in the coming months.

He made the projection “in view of the recent borrowings by the government, both commercial and multilateral/official development assistance, especially the latest $2.75-billion global bond sale of the national government, partly to finance various Covid-19 programs, as well additional government borrowings to finance the purchase of Covid-19 vaccines.”