Gov’t borrowings drop in August

The Duterte administration has substantially reduced new financing last August, taking up only about a fifth of the amount it borrowed from a year earlier, data from the Bureau of the Treasury showed.

Gross borrowings only reached P117.74 billion in August which was 81 percent lower or by P495 billion compared to P612.91 billion in the same period in 2020. The government sold P516.34 billion worth of retail treasury bonds in August last year.

The bulk of additional borrowing was sourced from the domestic market at P100.97 billion, while the remaining P16.8 billion were taken out from abroad.

Of the total external borrowings made, project loans amounted to P12.17 billion while program loans stood at P4.6 billion.

In August, the government’s net financing, which is borrowings less repayments, reached P66.59 billion, 88 percent lower compared with P582.72 billion in the same month last year.

In the first eight months of the year, the national government registered a 3.3 percent decline in gross financing to P2.388 trillion from P2.47 trillion in the previous year.

Of the total, about 80.8 percent was raised via domestic sources and 19.2 percent from external lenders.

Local borrowings hit P1.929 trillion at end-August, that is 1.6 percent smaller than P1.96 trillion in the same period last year.

On the other hand, offshore financing amounted to P458.51 billion, about 10 percent lower compared with P509.7 billion a year ago.

In 2021, the Duterte administration is planning to borrow P3 trillion to fund more than half of the government’s spending plan and plug the ballooning budget deficit amid the prolonged pandemic.

As of August this year, the national government’s debt stock stood at P11.642 trillion.

Based on the Department of Finance’s estimates, the national government’s outstanding debt will hit a record-high P13.41 trillion by end of 2022.