PH debt balloons to record ₱7.167-T in end-October

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 3) — The government's outstanding debt further rose to a record-high of ₱7.167 trillion in January to September, the Bureau of Treasury (BOT) said Tuesday, citing higher domestic and foreign borrowings.

In a statement, the bureau said total obligations went up by 10.24 percent from ₱6.501 trillion a year ago.

Month-on-month, it grew by 0.10 percent or ₱7.30 trillion from ₱7.160 trillion as of end-September.

Domestic debt accounted for the biggest chunk of the total debt at 64.46 percent or ₱4.62 trillion. This is 9.6 percent higher than the ₱4.21 trillion during the same period in 2017.

Local borrowings grew by 0.71 percent or ₱32.45 billion month-on-month, attributed to the "net issuance of government's securities amounting to ₱32.74 billion."

"This was slightly offset by the appreciation of the peso that decreased the value of onshore dollar bonds by ₱0.29 billion," the BOT said.

Meanwhile, foreign debt, which accounted for 35.54 percent, went down by 0.98 percent or ₱25.15 billion, but grew by 11.5 percent  year-on-year to ₱2.546 trillion during the period.

The decline, according to the Bureau, was "principally due to the ₱27.34 billion impact of the stronger peso and net repayment on foreign obligation amounting to ₱0.33 billion."

The lower external debt "was tampered by the net appreciation of third-currency denominated external debt amounting to ₱2.52 billion," it added.

Economic managers in April revised the country's borrowing mix to 65-35 ratio, in favor of domestic sources, from 74-26 and 80-20 set in 2017.

Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno, in a media briefing, said the government will follow a 75-25 borrowing mix from 2019 to 2022.

This, he said, is "advantageous on our part because they offer lower interest rates."