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Govt debt rises to P10.3T at end-Jan

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Govt debt rises to P10.3T at end-Jan

The government’s outstanding debt soared to a new all-time high of P10.32 trillion at end-January on bigger domestic obligations, according to the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr).

Treasury data showed on Tuesday that the amount was a 5.4-percent or P532.45-billion increase from P9.79 trillion at end-December.

Of the figure, 29 percent was generated from foreign creditors and 71 percent from local ones.

Domestic debt reached P7.32 trillion, up 9.4 percent from end-December’s P6.69 trillion,
while foreign debt shrank by 3.2 percent to P3 trillion.

Outstanding obligations a year ago were at P7.76 trillion, of which P5.12 trillion were local and P2.63 trillion were foreign.

The Treasury blamed the expanded local debt to the “net availment of domestic financing amounting to P630.84 billion, including the P540-billion provisional advances availed by the NG (national government) from the BSP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) for budgetary support.”

It traced the lower foreign obligations to “the net repayment of foreign loans amounting to P93.49 billion and the P8.47-billion effect of third-currency depreciation against the dollar.”
“These more than offset the P3.55-billion effect of local currency depreciation on dollar denominated loans for the period,” it said.

A foreign-exchange rate of P48.07 to the dollar was used for the latest data, compared with end-December’s P48.02:$1. The exchange rate used a year ago was P50.85:$1.

Government-guaranteed debt declined by 0.4 percent or P1.96 billion to P456.38 billion at end-December.

“The lower level of guarantees was due to the net redemption of both local and foreign guarantees amounting to P0.32 billion and P0.18 billion, respectively,” the Treasury explained.

Third-currency exchange rate fluctuations, it added, further reduced the peso value of external guarantees by P1.69 billion, more than offsetting the P0.23-billion effect of the local currency depreciation against the dollar.

The Budget department has said the government’s outstanding debt could reach P11.98 trillion this year.