Philippine government's debt hits record P11.97 trillion in October

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 01 2021 01:02 PM | Updated as of Dec 01 2021 04:06 PM

MANILA (UPDATE) - The Philippine government’s debt stood at a record P11.97 trillion at the end of October, the Bureau of Treasury said on Wednesday. 

This was 19.38 percent higher than in October last year and 22.22 percent higher than at the start of the year. 

Since October last year, the government has added P1.9 trillion to the national debt. 

“Of the total debt stock, 29.3 percent was sourced externally while 70.7 percent were domestic borrowings,” Treasury said. 

The country’s domestic debt amounted to P8.47 trillion. Since the start of 2021, domestic debt has increased by P1.77 trillion or 26.49 percent, the agency said. 

Foreign debt meanwhile stood at P3.5 trillion. Since the start of the year, the country added P402.81 billion to its foreign debt stock, up 12.99 percent.

RCBC chief economist Michael Ricafort noted that the national debt grew at a slower year-on-year pace in October this year compared to September when debt expanded 27.2 percent. 

Ricafort said the narrower P64.3 billion budget deficit in October, which was the narrowest in 6 months, could have led to a reduced need for additional government borrowings. 

However, the P360 billion 5.5-year 4.625 percent Retail Treasury Bond issuance by the national government to be settled on December 2, 2021 will fundamentally increase the country's outstanding debt stock by December 2021, Ricafort said. 

In 5 years and 4 months, the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte has more than doubled the country's debt from P5.95 trillion at the end of June 2016.

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

Economic managers have said that the country's debt-GDP (gross domestic product) ratio remains sustainable despite the uptick in borrowing. 

The national government's debt-to-GDP ratio is expected to slightly increase to 60 percent next year from the programmed 59 percent ratio in 2021, Dominguez has said. 

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