MANILA - The Bureau of Treasury said the national government's debt will hit P7 trillion next year as the Duterte administration ramps up borrowings to fund its ambitious infrastructure push.
The country's debt is expected to rise 9.4 percent in 2017 to P7.054 trillion from an assumption of around P6.447 trillion this year, according to National Treasurer Rosalia B. De Leon.
Despite the projected P607 billion increase, Finance Undersecretary Gil S. Beltran said the government's total outstanding debt remains very manageable.
He said that the country's debt will be equivalent to 39.7 percent of the Philippine economy, which is still below the 50 percent threshold that markets consider sustainable.
"It has to increase because we are building infrastructure. The savings have to be used for production, which means that you set a side a certain percentage of income for investment in goods that will allow us to produce more, like building roads, airports, and bridges," Beltran said.
Beltran also downplayed the effects of the weakening peso on the country's external debt, saying it is reasonably acceptable.
The country's debt stood at P6.345 trillion as of May this year, 7.8 percent higher than the P5.885 trillion in the same period in 2016.