Gov’t external debt stock eased further to P1.88T in Feb.By Ronnel W. Domingo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The government’s external debt stock eased further to P1.88 trillion as of end-February despite a weakening peso.
Data from the Bureau of Treasury showed that foreign borrowings went down to 35 percent of total outstanding debt, which further decreased to P5.32 trillion.
Foreign borrowings decreased by P46 billion, or 2.4 percent, from the P1.92 trillion the government owed to overseas lenders in January.
Payments exceeded the inflow of new borrowings by P44 billion, which led to the decrease in foreign debt.
Also, the depreciation of the euro and the Japanese yen against the US dollar shaved off P7 billion from the debt stock.
Aside from loans extended by multilateral lenders and official aid from foreign governments, the Philippines also borrowed abroad by issuing bonds denominated in foreign currencies apart from the dollar.
However, the depreciation of the local currency against the greenback added P5 billion to the value of outstanding debt in peso terms, partially dampening the effects of net payments and the weakening of the euro and yen.
In February, government debt paper pegged in dollars amounted to an equivalent of P957 billion, while yen and euro loans stood at P44 billion and P27 billion, respectively.
As for domestic borrowings, this represented 65 percent of the debt stock at P3.45 trillion.
In February, local debt increased by P37 billion, or 1.1 percent, from the P3.41 trillion posted in January.
The increase was attributed to the government’s issuance of more local debt paper compared to the volume that was redeemed.
At P5.32 trillion, the government’s debt stock means that each Filipino owes P55,469, based on the latest population estimate of 96 million.