Gov’t debt payments ease in July
Mary Grace Padin (The Philippine Star) - September 24, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The national government spent P47.21 billion to pay off its debt, including interest payments and amortization in July, according to the Bureau of the Treasury.

According to the latest data from the BTr, the government’s debt payments in July declined 52.63 percent to P47.21 billion from P99.66 billion in the same month last year.

This brought the national government’s debt service to P463.11 billion in the first seven months, 3.12 percent lower than the P478.03 billion registered in the same period in 2017.

The government allots a portion of its budget for debt payments to settle obligations on a monthly basis, depending on their maturity.

For July alone, the BTr said the bulk or P44.84 billion of the total amount used to settle debt went to interest payments. This is P21 million lower than the P44.63 billion recorded in July 2017.

Of the total interest payments last July, P24.32 billion went to domestic lenders, while the remaining P20.52 billion was paid to foreign creditors.

Interest payments from January to July also rose by 7.21 percent to P210.35 billion from last year’s level of P196.2 billion.

Earlier, the Treasury said interest payments as of end-July accounted for 10.9 percent of the government’s expenditures, improving from last year’s level of 12.4 percent.

Interest payment as a percentage of total revenue also stood at 12.7 percent, lower compared to 14.3 percent last year.

Meanwhile, the BTr said P2.37 billion of the remaining debt payments last July was used for amortization. Of the amount, P2.1 billion went to foreign creditors, while P273 million was paid to domestic lenders.

From January to July, principal payments reached P252.76 billion, down 10.32 percent from the P281.83 billion posted in the same period in 2017.

Debt payments form part of the government’s expenditures, which grew by 23 percent to P1.93 trillion as of end-July from P1.58 trillion last year.

For the whole of 2018, the national government allocated P682.46 billion for debt payments, comprising of P353.41 billion in interest payments and P329.05 billion in amortization.

The figure was slightly higher than the P680.47 billion spent on debt service in 2017.

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