RP debt stock up 1.2% to P4.236 trillion

The Philippine Star

Posted at Feb 13 2009 02:43 AM | Updated as of Feb 13 2009 10:43 AM

The government’s debt stock increased by 1.2 percent or P52.1 billion to P4.236 trillion as of end-November 2008 from the end-October 2008 level of P4.184 trillion, the Bureau of the Treasury reported yesterday.

The government attributed the increase to more local and foreign borrowings during the period as fiscal authorities continue to contain the budget deficit.

Of the total outstanding debt of P4.236 trillion, the government owed P1.832 trillion or 43 percent to foreign creditors and P2.404 trillion or 57 percent to local lenders, data from the Treasury showed.

At P4.236 trillion, theoretically, each of the 90.4 million Filipinos is indebted by P46,858 as of end-November compared with the P46,283 in October.

In its report, the Treasury said that the government’s domestic debt increased by P24 billion or one percent as of end-November 2008 from the end-October level of P2.379 trillion.

The government issued more Treasury bills and bonds during the period.

Similarly, the government’s foreign debt as of end-November 2008 also increased by P28 billion to P1.832 trillion or 1.5 percent from the P1.804 trillion recorded as of end-October 2008.

The Treasury said this was due to the net availments of foreign loans amounting to P10 billion, cost of the depreciation of the peso against the US dollar amounting to P4 billion and cost of the depreciation of the third currencies against the US dollar amounting to P14 billion.

Data from the Treasury showed that loans disbursed by international lending agencies such as the Asian Development Bank, World Bank, and Japan Bank for International Cooperation increased by 3.5 percent or P25 billion to P796.4 billion in November from P771.4 billion in October.

Foreign-denominated securities issued by the Philippine government slightly went up by P2.6 billion to P1.035 trillion during the period from P1.033 trillion recorded as of end-October 2008. US dollar-denominated debt increased by P1.9 billion to P937.7 billion while Japanese yen-denominated debt increased by P900 million to P25.6 billion.

The peso weakened and closed at P48.88 to the dollar in November from the P48.746 against the greenback in November, data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas showed.

The contingent debt of the National Government, meanwhile, increased to P546.23 billion as of end-November 2008 from the end-October level of P536.72 billion.

The Treasury attributed the increase to the cost of the depreciation of the third currencies against the US dollar amounting to P7 billion and the depreciation cost of the peso against the US dollar amounting to P1 billion.

The government relies on foreign and domestic loans to pay maturing debts and finance its budgetary requirements.

Through the years, fiscal authorities have been stepping up efforts to fix the country’s fiscal position.

The government hopes to have contained its budget deficit at P75 billion in 2008 and is struggling to keep the budget gap at P102 billion this year.