MANILA — The national government has asked for a fresh loan of P540 billion from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) at zero interest, the BSP said on Wednesday.
BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said the government's request will be submitted to the Monetary Board soon for approval.
The new loan follows the P300 billion lent by the BSP to the government via a purchase of government securities in March to help the fight against the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The government has been borrowing heavily as revenues shrank and expenditures climbed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As of end-August, the Philippines’ debt hit P9.615 trillion, which was 21 percent higher compared to the same month last year.
Despite having the longest and strictest lockdown, the Philippines has recorded the most number of infections in Southeast Asia, and also suffered the second-worst economic contraction in the region.