By Chino S. Leyco
The national government’s debt jumped by double-digits in September this year owing to weaker local currency and higher borrowing from the domestic market, data from the Bureau of the Treasury showed yesterday.
As of September, the outstanding debt stood at P7.16 trillion, higher by 11 percent compared with P6.444 trillion in the same month last year. Of the total, 64.08 percent was borrowed domestically, while the remaining 35.92 percent was sourced in the foreign debt markets.
Local debt rose 9.5 percent at end-September to P4.587 trillion from P4.188 trillion last year, while offshore debt accelerated by 14 percent year-on-year to P2.572 trillion from P2.255 trillion.
Month-on-month, the government’s increased by 0.8 percent increase from the previous month’s P7.103 trillion.
In September, the peso depreciated to 54.102 against the US dollar from only 50.83 in the same month in 2017.
Meanwhile, the total national government guaranteed obligations decreased by P3.67 billion or 0.8 percent month-on-month to P481.30 billion in September.
The decline in guarantees was due to the effect of net depreciation on third-currency denominated guarantees amounting to P3.23 billion and net redemption on both domestic and external guarantees amounting to P1.80 billion and P2.12 billion, respectively.
For this year, the Duterte administration expects the government’s debt to reach P7.33 trillion from P6.65 trillion at end-December last year.
But by end-next year the government expects its debt to amount P8.12 trillion, with P1.9 trillion in additional borrowings as well as P1.14 trillion in principal payments programmed for 2019.
The government also plans to borrow up to P1.19 trillion next year to partly finance its budget, with a quarter of that expected to be met from external sources.
The 2019 borrowing program is about 20 percent higher than this year’s P996 billion, figures released by National Treasurer Rosalia de Leon showed.
The government plans to borrow up to P294.2 billion from external sources and raise P891.7 billion from the domestic market for next year’s spending, De Leon said.