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Business

NG debt rises to P10.4 trillion in February

Czeriza Valencia - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The national government’s total outstanding debt rose to a new record high of P10.405 trillion as of February, as borrowings were ramped up to finance its pandemic response.

During the month, P78.37 billion was added to the debt portfolio because of net financing from local and external sources and currency fluctuations.

Of the total debt stock, 29 percent were sourced externally while 71 percent were domestic borrowings.

Domestic debt amounted to P7.363 trillion, 0.5 percent higher compared to the end-January level primarily due to net availment of domestic financing.

External debt of P3.042 trillion was 1.4 percent higher from the previous month due to the net availment of foreign loans amounting to P14.53 billion and the P36.03 billion effect of local currency depreciation against the dollar.

Total guaranteed obligations by the national government, meanwhile, decreased by 2.1 percent month-over-month to P446.72 billion in February.

The lower level of guarantees was due to the net redemption of both local and foreign guarantees amounting to P9.99 billion and P0.34 billion, respectively.

The country’s debt-to-GDP so far remains below the internationally acceptable threshold of 60 percent of GDP, effectively giving it room to spend and borrow more to support the economy.

Last year, the share of the country’s debt to its economic output rose to a 14-year high of 54.5 percent because of pandemic-related spending.

This year, economic managers expect this to rise to as much as 57 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) as borrowings are ramped up to P3 trillion.

NATIONAL GOVERNMENTS

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