NG debt rises almost P1 trillion in March from last year

By Chino S. Leyco

The national government’s debt stock rose by almost a trillion pesos in March this year on the back higher borrowings particularly from the domestic market to support the Duterte administration’s funding program for infrastructure projects.

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Based on the Bureau of the Treasury report yesterday, the total outstanding debt of the national government stood at P7.802 trillion at end-March this year, higher by 13 percent or P923.3 billion, compared with P6.879 trillion in the same month last year.

Of the total debt stock, 66.6 percent was borrowed from local creditor, while the remaining 33.4 percent was sourced from the offshore markets.

As of March 2019, local debt increased by 16 percent to P5.196 trillion from P4.465 trillion in the same period last year, while foreign obligation reached P2.605 trillion, higher by 8.0 percent compared with P2.413 trillion in the previous year.

Month-on-month, the outstanding debt also rose, which the treasury said due to currency adjustments and net issuance of government securities.

The March figure was higher by five percent than the previous month’s P7.451 trillion.

Meanwhile, the total national government guaranteed obligations increased by 1.3 percent month-on-month to P479.67 billion in March due to the net issuance of domestic guarantees amounting to P2.79 billion and currency fluctuations on both local and third currencies, which increase the peso value of external guarantees amounting to P4.73 billion and P0.42 billion, respectively.

Meanwhile, net repayments on external guarantees trimmed P1.64 billion. From the end-December 2018 level, total guaranteed debt has decreased by P7.92 billion or 1.6 percent.