MANILA — The Philippines can pay for its at least P11.071-trillion outstanding debt, Malacañang said on Tuesday, after the country borrowed heavily to finance its COVID-19 response and infrastructure drive.
Economic managers have been "very conservative" and the national debt as of May is in "mid-range" if compared to lower-middle income countries like the Philippines, including those in Latin America, said Palace spokesman Harry Roque.
"Malaki pong tingnan ‘yan, but we are in the mid-range. At wala naman pong problema ‘yan pagdating doon sa ating kakayahan na magbayad," he said in a press briefing.
(That looks huge, but we are in the mid-range. And there is no problem when it comes to our ability to pay.)
Video courtesy of Office of the Presidential Spokesperson
The national debt was at P5.948 trillion at the end of June 2016, or about half of the current loan.
The total debt would have been higher if not for the peso's performance from April to May, as the local currency appreciated against the US dollar from P48.156 as of end-April 2021 to P47.723 as of end-May 2021, the Bureau of the Treasury said earlier this week.
Of the total debt stock, 28.5 percent were foreign borrowings while 71.5 percent were domestic borrowings.
The country's domestic debt reached P7.9 trillion in May, which was P103.37 billion or 1.3 percent higher compared to the end of April.
Foreign debt meanwhile decreased by P23.56 billion to P3.155 trillion due to the P28.58 billion impact of local-currency appreciation against the US Dollar and the net repayment of foreign loans amounting to P0.22 billion.
The current national debt means that 110.8 million Filipinos each owe creditors about P99,000.