Govt debt hits all-time high of P10.32 trillion


The government’s outstanding debt stock reached an all-time high of P10.32 trillion at end-January as domestic borrowings accelerated, according to the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) showed on Tuesday.


The government did not state the reason why its debt stock climbed to record levels but it earlier stated that massive amount of public funds were used for responses to the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.


The P10.32 trillion represents an increase of 5.4 percent or P532.45-billion from the P9.79 trillion registered at end-December 2020. Domestic borrowings accounted for 71 percent and foreign debts accounted for 29 percent, the BTr said.


Domestic obligations hit P7.32 trillion for a 9.4-percent rise from end-December’s P6.69 trillion, while foreign debt decreaded by 3.2 percent to P3 trillion.


Outstanding obligations a year ago was at P7.76 trillion with P5.12 trillion accounting for local debt and P2.63 trillion for foreign debt.


The BTr blamed the expansion of domestic debt to “net availment of domestic financing amounting to P630.84 billion, including the P540 billion provisional advances availed by the NG (national government) from the BSP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) for budgetary support.”


Meanwhile, the bureau traced the lower foreign obligations to “the net repayment of foreign loans amounting to P93.49 billion and the P8.47 billion effect of third currency depreciation against the dollar.”


“These more than offset the P3.55 billion effect of local currency depreciation on dollar denominated loans for the period,” it added.


A foreign-exchange rate of P48.07 to the dollar was used to compute for the latest data, compared with end-December’s P48.02 :$1 with  the exchange rate used a year ago was P50.85:$1.


The Department of Budget and Management sees the government’s outstanding obligation reaching P11.98 trillion this year.

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