RP debt rises 2.9% in March


Posted at Jun 10 2008 05:40 PM | Updated as of Jun 11 2008 01:40 AM


Outstanding Philippine government debt rose 2.9 percent in March from February, partly due to the depreciation of the peso and other currencies held by the central government, the Bureau of Treasury said on Tuesday.

The peso has reversed its record last year as the region's best performer, falling 7.11 percent against the dollar so far this year to become Asia's third-worst performer.

At the end of the first quarter, the peso had lost around 1 percent against the dollar.

The central government's total debt stood at P3.881 trillion ($88 billion) at the end of March, higher than P3.77 trillion at the end of February, but down from a year earlier P3.93 trillion, the Treasury said in a statement.

The government's foreign debt climbed 4.9 percent in March from February due to a 27 billion pesos net depreciation of third currencies against the dollar and the slide in the peso worth P49 billion during the period, the Treasury also said.

Domestic debt of the central government rose 1.6 percent in March from February due to the central government's net issuances of local debt.

Domestic debt accounted for 59 percent of central government debt while the rest was in foreign borrowings.

Contingent debt, mainly debt issued by state-owned and state-controlled firms with government guarantees, increased 4.9 percent to P519.6 billion in March from February.