Data from the BTr showed the national government’s debt payments reached P220.18 billion in the first three months of the year, 11.09 percent higher than the P198.2 billion recorded in the same period last year.
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Debt payments rise 11% in Q1
Mary Grace Padin (The Philippine Star) - June 13, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The national government spent more on debt payments in the first quarter of the year as both interest and principal payments increased, the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) reported.

Data from the BTr showed the national government’s debt payments reached P220.18 billion in the first three months of the year, 11.09 percent higher than the P198.2 billion recorded in the same period last year.

For the month of March alone, debt service grew by 26.23 percent to P42.80 billion from P33.91 billion in the same month in 2018.

The government allots a portion of its budget for the settlement of obligations on a monthly basis, depending on their maturity.

According to Treasury data, P112.41 billion of the total debt payments in the first quarter went to amortization, while P107.77 billion was used for interest payments.

Principal payments, in particular, increased by 11.25 percent from last year’s level of P101.04 billion.

BTr data showed bulk or P71.22 billion of total principal payments during the period was paid to domestic lenders, while the remaining P41.19 billion went to foreign creditors.

Meanwhile, interest payments for the January to March period likewise climbed by 10.92 percent to P107.77 billion from P97.16 billion in the same period in 2018.

The Treasury said P66.84 billion of this amount went to domestic lenders, while another P40.93 billion was paid to foreign creditors.

In an earlier statement, the BTr said interest payments comprised 13.9 percent of the government’s total expenditures in the first quarter, higher than last year’s level of 12.6 percent.

The BTr said January to March interest payments as a percentage of total revenues also remained steady at 15.7 percent as compared to a year ago.

Debt payments form part of the government’s expenditures.

In 2018, the national government settled P775.59 billion in obligations, almost 14 percent higher than the P680.47 billion in 2017.

This is likewise 5.7 percent higher as compared to the P733.74 billion programmed by the government for debt service, as indicated in the Budget of Expenditures and Sources of Financing document of the Department of Budget and Management.

For 2019, the national government is programmed to spend P887.91 billion for debt service or 14.5 percent higher than the actual debt payments made last year.

BUREAU OF THE TREASURY DEBT PAYMENTS RISE
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