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Government debt inches up to P6.43 T in August

The national government’s debt pile inched up 0.73 percent to P6.43 trillion as of end-August from the P6.39 trillion in the previous month, according to the Bureau of the Treasury. File

MANILA, Philippines — The national government’s debt pile inched up 0.73 percent to P6.43 trillion as of end-August from the P6.39 trillion in the previous month, according to the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr).

The Treasury attributed the increase to the net issuance of domestic securities, loan availments from foreign multilateral agencies, as well as the peso’s depreciation against the dollar and third currency adjustments.

 As compared to the end-December level of P6.09 trillion, the Treasury said outstanding debt as of Aug. 31 also grew 5.6 percent.

 According to Treasury data, 66 percent of the total outstanding debt was borrowed domestically, while the remaining 34 percent came from foreign sources.

At P4.15 trillion, domestic debt was 0.1 percent higher than the end-July level.

The Treasury said the slight increase was driven by the net issuance of government securities amounting to P5.01 billion, and the net effect of peso depreciation which translated to P330 million. The peso weakened to 51.171 to $1 as of end-August from the 50.502 to $1 end-July level.

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 Likewise, external debt as of end-August climbed 1.8 percent to P2.28 trillion from the P2.24 trillion posted the previous month.

The BTr said this growth was primarily due to the net availment of foreign loans at P10.36 billion, as well as the impact of peso depreciation against the dollar and net appreciation of third currencies, which bumped up foreign debt by P29.66 billion and P1.01 billion, respectively.

Meanwhile, the BTr said total guaranteed obligations as of end-August rose 0.5 percent to P497.54 billion from P495.14 a month ago.

“The rise in national government guarantees was due to the combined effect of peso depreciation amounting to P3.84 billion and the effect of third currency revaluation amounting to P1.02 billion,” the BTr said.

These more than offset net repayments on both domestic and external guarantees, amounting to P2.34 billion and P120 million, the BTr said.

Earlier, National Treasurer Rosalia De Leon said the national government’s outstanding debt may reach P6.47 trillion by end-2017, corresponding to 40.76 percent of the projected gross domestic product for the year.

The amount was lower than the P6.526 trillion debt ceiling set by the government according to the Department of Budget and Management’s Budget of Expenditures and Sources of Financing (BESF) document.

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