PH debt stock breached P5T mark in MarchBy Ronnel W. Domingo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The amount of the country’s outstanding debt breached the P5-trillion mark in March, data from the Bureau of the Treasury showed.
With P5.089 trillion in debt, this means that each Filipino now owes domestic and foreign lenders P53,009.
The debt stock breached the P5-trillion level three months later than the government had expected as it tried to consolidate the state’s financial obligations as well as speed up the disbursement of public funds. Malacañang missed its projected mark when it said that the debt stock would hit P5.135 trillion by the end of 2011.
Officials based their projections on the growth trend recorded in recent years. They said the debt stock had been growing steadily from P4.222 trillion reported in 2008, P4.397 trillion in 2009, and P4.718 trillion in 2010.
Treasury officials said that the outstanding debt in March was P176.23 billion, or 3.6 percent, higher than that of February due to a net issuance of domestic securities.
The debt stock at of the end of March was also 8.2 percent, or P383.31 billion, higher than the level posted in the same month of 2011.
Of the total obligations, 59 percent, or P3.015 trillion, was secured from domestic lenders. It marked an increase of P188.03 billion, or 6.7 percent, from the P2.827 trillion reported in February.
The increase came about after the government issued more local debt notes compared to the volume that had been redeemed.
On the other hand, 41 percent, or P2.074 trillion, of total outstanding debt was booked in foreign currencies such as the US dollar, euro and yen.
Foreign borrowings decreased by P11.8 billion, or 0.6 percent, from the P2.086 trillion owed to overseas lenders in February.
Officials attributed the decrease in foreign debt to a depreciation in the yen and the euro against the dollar, which shaved off P12.8 billion from the debt stock.
Also, the government repaid P3.9 billion more than the amount it borrowed in March.
On the other hand, the depreciation of the peso against the US dollar helped push up its foreign debt by P4.9 billion.
In March, government debt notes denominated in dollars amounted to an equivalent of P1.072 trillion, while yen and euro loans stood at P52.1 billion and P28.6 billion, respectively.
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