Debt balloons to P14.8 trillion

Louise Maureen Simeon - The Philippine Star
Debt balloons to P14.8 trillion
The level was eight percent higher than the P13.7 trillion debt in the same month in 2023.
Philstar.com / Irra Lising

MANILA, Philippines — The issuance of domestic securities and the weakening of the peso pushed the country’s outstanding debt to a fresh high of P14.79 trillion in January, latest data from the Bureau of the Treasury showed.

The level was eight percent higher than the P13.7 trillion debt in the same month in 2023.

For January alone, the government added P173.91 billion to the debt pile due to the net issuance of domestic securities and the effect of peso depreciation.

During the month, the Treasury upsized its Treasury-bill offerings to P81 billion while its T-bond program at P120 billion was fully raised.

The peso, on the other hand, depreciated against the dollar to P56.403 from the end-December level of P55.418.

This resulted in an addition of P2.81 billion to the total debt pile.

At the start of the year, the outstanding debt was already 93 percent of the 2024 debt expectation of a record P15.84 trillion.

Domestic borrowings accounted for nearly 69 percent of the debt pile while the rest came from external sources.

Total domestic debt at P10.16 trillion inched up by 1.44 percent on a monthly basis due to the net issuance of government securities.

However, it jumped 8.3 percent from the P9.38 trillion in debt in January 2023.

Gross issuance of domestic debt in January reached P211.11 billion, while principal payments totaled P69.67 billion, resulting in a net issuance of P141.44 billion.

External obligations, on the other hand, inched up 0.65 percent to P4.63 trillion month-on-month. It rose 7.29 percent from P4.31 trillion on a yearly basis.

The Treasury attributed the increase to the P81.73 billion upward revaluation caused by local currency depreciation against the dollar.

However, this was partially offset by favorable movements in third currencies at P28.52 billion, reducing the net increase by P52.07 billion.

Further, external loan availment contributed P61.86 billion in January.

This is composed of P56.5 billion in program loans from the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank, as well as P5.36 billion in other project loans.

Meanwhile, the government’s guaranteed obligations barely went down to P348.66 billion. Net repayment of both domestic and external guarantees amounted to P1.12 billion and P240 million, respectively.

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