Philippines debt pierces P15 trillion mark

Louise Maureen Simeon - The Philippine Star
Philippines debt pierces P15 trillion mark
Latest data from the Treasury showed that the national debt settled at P15.18 trillion as of end-February, the highest level to date.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — The issuance of domestic securities pushed the country’s debt to hit the P15-trillion mark in February, a new record high in outstanding obligations, the Bureau of the Treasury said.

Latest data from the Treasury showed that the national debt settled at P15.18 trillion as of end-February, the highest level to date.

This is also 10 percent higher than last year’s P13.75 trillion debt.

For February alone, the government added a total of P388.51 billion to the debt pile due to the net issuance of domestic securities.

The government in February raised P585 billion from the 30th tranche of the retail Treasury bonds aimed at boosting state coffers.

The total debt pile would have been higher if it was not partially tempered by the effect of the stronger peso on foreign debt valuation.

The peso appreciated against the  dollar to P56.174 from the end-January level of P56.403.

As such, it trimmed P660 million from the local debt through downward revaluation of foreign currency denominated domestic debt.

As of February, the outstanding debt was already 95.8 percent of the 2024 debt expectation of a record P15.84 trillion.

The Treasury said domestic borrowings accounted for the bulk or almost 70 percent of the debt  pile,  while the remaining 30.32 percent came from   external sources.

Total domestic debt at P10.58 trillion went up by four percent on a monthly basis due to the net issuance of government securities.

However, it jumped by 12 percent from the P9.44 trillion in February 2023.

Gross issuance of domestic debt in January reached P708.74 billion, while principal payments totaled P293.57 billion, resulting in a net issuance of P415.17 billion.

External obligations, on the other hand, slightly went down by 0.56 percent to P4.6 trillion month-on-month. It rose 6.76 percent from P4.31 trillion on a yearly basis.

The Treasury said this was attributed to favorable foreign exchange movements by both local and third currencies against the dollar amounting to P18.79 billion and P9.96 billion, respectively.

These more than offset the P2.75 billion net availment of foreign loans.

Meanwhile, the government’s guaranteed obligations went down by a percentage to P344.93 billion due to the net repayment of external guarantees amounting to P3.23 billion.

The net adjustment in domestic guarantees further offset P1.29 billion from the outstanding balance as of end-February

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