Philippine debt hits P11.61 trillion in July as government borrows more, peso weakens

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 01 2021 11:06 AM | Updated as of Sep 02 2021 07:30 AM

MANILA (UPDATE) – The Philippines’ debt climbed further hitting P11.61 trillion at the end of July, the Bureau of Treasury reported on Wednesday. 

The country’s total debt in July increased by P444.43 billion or 4 percent from June due to the peso’s depreciation and as the national government borrowed more money from both foreign and local lenders, Treasury said. 

“From the start of 2021, total outstanding debt has grown by P1.82 trillion or 18.53 percent,” Treasury noted. 

Total debt also increased by P2.44 trillion or 26.7 percent from July last year. 

Of the total debt stock, 30.1 percent was foreign debt, while the remaining 69.9 percent was borrowed from local sources. 

Domestic debt amounted to P8.12 trillion, which is P181.04 billion or 2.3 percent higher compared to the end-June 2021 level as a result of the net issuance of government securities. 

Growth in domestic obligations amounts to P1.42 trillion or 21.28 percent from the beginning of the year owing to heightened financing requirements.

The country’s foreign debt stood at P3.49 trillion, which was P263.39 billion or 8.2 percent higher from the previous month. 

Increased borrowing from foreign lenders added P159.34 billion, including P146.17 billion from the issuance of US dollar global bonds. 

“Meanwhile, the impact of both local- and third-currency exchange fluctuations against the US Dollar added P100.66 billion and P3.39 billion, respectively,” Treasury said. 

Foreign debt has increased by P390.55 billion or 12.6 percent from the end-December 2020 level.

In less than 5 years, the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte has almost doubled the country's debt from P5.95 trillion at the end of 2016.

The Philippines has been borrowing heavily to finance its COVID-19 response as well as the Duterte administration's ambitious infrastructure program. 

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III has said that the government expects to borrow P3 trillion this year, and P2.25 trillion next year. 

The debt-to-GDP ratio is also projected to slightly increase to 60 percent in 2022 from the programmed 59 percent ratio in 2021.

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