By Chino S. Leyco
The national government’s (NG) debt slightly declined in September due to favorable foreign exchange rates as well as repayments of external and domestic loans, but the level remained above the full-year target.
Data from the Bureau of the Treasury showed yesterday that the outstanding debt of the national government stood at ₱7.907 trillion at end-September lower by 0.4 percent compared with ₱9.939 trillion in the previous month.
Of the total debt stock, 66.49 percent were borrowed domestically, while the remaining balance of 33.51 percent were sourced from external markets.
But despite the drop, the end-September level was still higher by 0.6 percent against the 2019 target of ₱7.853 trillion set under the 2020 Budget of Expenditures and Sources of Financing submitted to Congress.
Likewise, the latest debt figure was higher by 10 percent than the ₱7.159 trillion registered in the same month last year.
From end-2018 level of ₱7.292 trillion, the debt also increased by 8.4 percent in September.
At end-September, domestic debt amounted to ₱5.257 trillion, lower by 0.3 percent from ₱5.272 trillion in the previous month.
“The lower level of domestic debt was due to the combined net redemption of government securities amounting to ₱14.37 billion and ₱0.17 billion effect of peso appreciation on onshore dollar bonds,” the treasury said.
However, the September local debt level was higher by 14 percent compared with ₱4.587 trillion a year before.
On the other hand, foreign debt obligations also marginally decreased in September by 0.6 percent to P2.649 trillion from P2.667 trillion a month ago.
“The decline in external debt was attributed to local and third-currency fluctuations which decreased the value of foreign debt by P17.09 billion and P7.80 billion, respectively,” the treasury said.
“These offset the net availment of foreign loans amounting to P8.03 billion for the period,” the bureau added.
Year-or-year, offshore debt jumped three-percent in September from P2.572 billion.
Meanwhile, the total national guaranteed obligations decreased by 1.2 percent in September to P484.43 billion from P478.58 billion in August.
“The lower level of guarantees was due to the net effect of local and third-currency fluctuations that decreased the value of external guarantees by P1.54 billion and P1.57 billion, respectively,” the Treasury said.
In September, the peso averaged 51.795 against the US dollar, weaker than the 52.129 in the previous month and 54.102 in the previous year.