Philippine debt breaches P9 trillion in June as gov’t borrowings rise due to virus response

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 29 2020 02:30 PM

MANILA - The Philippines’ debt breached the P9 trillion mark in June as the government ramped up borrowing to fund its COVID-19 response. 

The Bureau of Treasury said total Philippine debt stood at P9.054 trillion at the end of June, which was 16.9 percent higher than the debt stock in the same month last year. 

Since January, the total debt stock has increased by P1.322 trillion, or 17.1 percent higher than its level at the end of December 2019. 

“Of the total outstanding debt stock, 32 percent were sourced externally while 68 percent are domestic debt,” Treasury said. 

Since the start of the year, the national government’s domestic debt has increased by P895.2 billion, while foreign debt rose P290.2 billion. 

Treasury data shows that in the first half of the year, the government borrowed a total of P216 billion from th Asian Development Bank, of which P76.27 billion was under the COVID-19 Active Response and Expenditure Support Program or CARES. 

The government also borrowed P85.78 billion from the World Bank during the period, of which P25.23 was under CARES, and another P25.03 billion under the Emergency COVID Response Loan. 

The COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown imposed by the government to try to curb its spread led to the first contraction of the Philippine economy since 1998. It also pushed the unemployment rate to a record 17.7 percent.