Gov’t settled P658B in debts in Jan.-Nov.By Ronnel W. Domingo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The government spent P658 billion in the 11 months to November 2012 to pay debts, according to the Bureau of Treasury (BTr).
This was one percent more than the P653.3 billion settled in the same period in 2011.
Debt servicing picked up, after a downtrend in the previous months, as the decline in payments for amortization eased to a single-digit level.
From January to November last year, the government settled P375.7 billion in principal obligations, including P320.6 billion in domestic debt and P55 billion in foreign loans. This was 7 percent lower than the P401.8 billion posted in the same period in 2011.
Also, the government paid a total of P282.3 billion in interest, covering P181.6 billion in domestic debt and P100.7 billion in foreign borrowings. The amount was 12 percent higher than the year-ago level of P251.6 billion.
As of November 2012, domestic obligations, particularly related to treasury bonds, accounted for the bulk of interest payments.
The BTr shelled out P148.4 billion for interest payments on T-bonds. This means an increase of 24 percent from P119.9 billion a year ago.
Also, interest payments related to retail T-bonds went up by 15 percent to P24.3 billion from P21.1 billion.
In January to November last year, T-bonds were the biggest contributors to new debt. Regular issues racked up P391.1 billion while two batches of retail issues accounted for P367.8 billion.
Budget Secretary Florencio B. Abad said last week that spending on interest payments went up “to cover the semi-annual interest payments due on bonds issued last January.”
In January 2012 alone, the government floated P66 billion worth of global bonds and P38.4 billion worth of domestic bonds.
BTr data showed that the government’s debt stock reached P5.36 trillion as of October 2012. This represents an increase of P146.3 billion, or 2.8 percent, from the previous month’s level. This was due to a net issuance of domestic securities as well as the sustained strength of the peso.