PH to borrow P1.19-T to finance next year's budget

Reuters

Posted at Jul 09 2018 03:26 PM

MANILA - The Philippine government said on Monday it plans to borrow up to P1.19 trillion ($22.3 billion) to partly finance next year's budget, with a quarter of that expected to be met from external sources.

The 2019 borrowing program is about 20 percent higher than this year's P996 billion, figures released by National Treasurer Rosalia de Leon showed.

The government plans to borrow up to P294.2 billion from external sources and raise P891.7 billion from the domestic market for next year's spending, she told reporters.

The Philippines is looking to raise as much as $2 billion via bond issues denominated in yen and US dollars before the year ends, but these are part of the 2018 financing program. 

De Leon said a euro bond issue is "another option we can explore for financing," but gave no other details about external borrowing plans for next year's budget.

President Rodrigo Duterte's administration is rolling out a massive $180 billion "Build Build Build" program to construct new roads, bridges, railways, airports and seaports during his six-year term that ends in 2022.

The government has vowed to maintain its aggressive spending strategy, which helped the domestic economy clock a robust 6.8 percent annual growth in the first quarter, until 2022.

Last week Duterte's economic team raised the deficit spending ceiling for 2019 to the equivalent of 3.2 percent of GDP, or P624 billion, from 3.0 percent previously.

The government will propose to Congress a P3.757 trillion budget for 2019, compared with this year's cash-based budget of 3.175 trillion pesos.