Gov’t resumed loan binge in first quarter

Data shows reversal of last year’s net repayments

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MANILA, Philippines—The government’s financing position in the first quarter showed a net borrowing of P162.47 billion, a reversal from a net payment of P64.01 billion in the year ago period, according to the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr).

The state of government finances from January to March is attributable mainly to the issuance of retail Treasury bonds (RTBs) last month.

However, this was tempered by payments for foreign debt which outstripped proceeds of new loans from abroad.

In the three-month period, the government incurred a total of P325.22 billion in new borrowings, up by 83 percent year on year from P177.33 billion.

At the same time, the government paid a total of P162.75 billion, less by one-third than the P241.34 billion it settled in the same quarter of last year.

BTr data show that the biggest contributors to new debts during those three months were the issuance of RTBs worth a total of P179.8 billion as well as P66 billion worth of global bonds and P89.86 billion worth of regular domestic bonds.

The government floated P34.34 billion in seven-year T-bonds, P29.75 billion in 10-year T-bonds and P25.77 billion in 20-year T-bonds.

On the other hand, BTr also reported a net redemption of T-bills at P27.5 billion

Further, overseas development assistance reached P17.03 billion, including P3.52 billion for projects and P13.51 billion for programs.

Total ODA was more than thrice the P5.49 billion reported in the same period last year, which covered P4.75 billion for project loans and P740 million for program loans.

As of March, the government paid out a total of P162.75 billion, including P16.25 billion in foreign loans and P146.5 billion in domestic debt.

Total payment for the period was 33 percent less than the P241.35 billion paid out in the same period last year, which covered P70.81 billion for overseas obligations and P170.54 billion for local loans.

In March alone, the government’s financing position settled at a net borrowing of P151.27 billion, an increase of 46 percent from P103.66 billion in the same month last year.

Also in March, the government incurred P1.63 billion in new foreign loans and P188.1 billion in new domestic debt.

At the same time, BTr paid out P7.09 billion in foreign debts and P31.37 billion in domestic loans.

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