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Government outstanding debt jumps 31%, tops P10.1 trillion

The government’s outstanding debt climbed by more than 31 percent in November to exceed P10.1 trillion for the first time from a year ago, driven by short-term borrowings from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to fund the anti-COVID-19 response.

Data from the National Treasury showed that outstanding government debt hit P10.13 billion as of November, up P106.37 billion or 1.1 percent from the end-October level of P10.03 billion on higher domestic borrowings. It was also up by P2.42 trillion from P7.71 trillion registered in November 2019.

The Treasury said that from the start of 2019, “the government debt stock has grown by P2.40 trillion or 31.1 percent owing to higher funding requirements to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and other socio-economic measures.” 

It said that of the total outstanding debt stock, 29 percent was sourced externally while 71 percent came from domestic sources.

The Treasury said that on a month-on-month basis, domestic debt amounted to P7.19 trillion as of end-November, which was P114.56 billion or 1.6 percent higher than the end-October level of P7.08 trillion following the net issuance of domestic government securities. 

Domestic debt increased by P2.06 trillion or 40.3 percent between January and November, it said.  This was driven by the P541-billion short-term loans from the BSP.

Meanwhile, external debt slightly went down by P8.19 billion or 0.3 percent in November to P2.94 trillion from the previous month’s P2.95 trillion.

“For November, the lower figure was primarily due to the P10.74 billion net effect of currency adjustments, particularly peso appreciation offsetting net foreign loan availments amounting to P2.55 billion,” the Treasury said.

Data, however, showed that from the start of the year, the government’s foreign debt increased by P338.44 billion or 13.0 percent from P2.6 trillion.

The Treasury said domestic borrowing in the first 11 months of 2020 reached P2.38 trillion, with net Treasury bills totaling P465.31 billion; Treasury bonds, P631.74 billion and retail Treasury bonds, P738.54 billion, net of the P88.56-billion domestic bond exchange.

External financing of the government registered an inflow of P583.64 billion in the 11-month period. Project loan availment hit P32.93 billion ($680 million) while program loans amounted to P364.64 billion ($7.58 billion). Offshore bond issuances totaled P186.06 billion ($3.87 billion).

Total national government guaranteed obligations decreased by P5.02 billion or 1.1 percent month-over-month to P442.83 billion in 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 US dollar further trimmed the peso value of external guarantees by P1.40 billion,” the Treasury said.

It said these more than offset the P0.63-billion effect of third-currency appreciation on external guarantees. Since the beginning of the year, government guarantees were down by P45.92 billion or 9.4 percent.

Topics: outstanding debt , anti-COVID-19 response , Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas
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