MANILA - The Philippines aims to raise $23.71 billion, or around P1.14 trillion, from external sources to bridge a planned budget deficit and fund priority projects this year, including $5.5 billion from the commercial markets, the Department of Finance said on Sunday.
The amount is 39 percent higher than the $17.01 billion the government raised from external sources last year for key infrastructure projects and for helping bridge a wider budget deficit due to state spending on COVID-19 response measures.
A total of $8.06 billion, or P387.24 billion, of this year's amount will be for budget support purposes, while the balance of $15.65 billion, or P751.9 billion will be for project financing, the DOF said in a statement.
This year's budget of P4.5 trillion, or $93.7 billion, the country's largest yet, is intended to bankroll an economic recovery and fund the purchase of millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccines.
The government is targeting full-year growth of 6.5 to 7.5 percent for the pandemic-hit economy, which contracted by a record 9.5 percent last year.
This year the government plans to secure $7.67 billion, or P368.5 billion, in loans and grants from multilateral institutions, $10.54 billion, or around P506.39 billion from bilateral sources, and $5.5 billion, or around P264.24 billion from the debt markets, the DOF said.
Last year, the DOF secured $7.73 billion or P371.38 billion from multilateral lenders, $2.86 billion or around P137.41 billion from bilateral partners, and $6.47 billion--around P310.85 billion, from commercial markets.
Of the total external financing contracted in 2020, around $15.44 billion (around P741.81 billion) was for emergency requirements for the government's COVID-19 response, while $1.62 billion (P77.83 billion) was for other initiatives including infrastructure projects.
($1 = 48.04 Philippine pesos)