Gov’t debt burden reached P5.15T in MayBy Ronnel W. Domingo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The government’s debt burden reached P5.15 trillion as of May, increasing by 7.7 percent or P370.51 billion from the level posted in the same month of 2011.
It was also bigger by P72 billion or 1.4 percent from the April level mainly due to a weaker peso and a net issuance of domestic securities.
With the population estimated at 95.2 million, according to the National Statistical Coordination Board, the amount of total outstanding debt would mean that each citizen has a share of P54,068.
Documents on total outstanding debt from the Bureau of the Treasury showed that 59 percent or P3.04 trillion was borrowed from local lenders.
Domestic debt increased by P19.02 billion or 0.6 percent from the P3.02 trillion posted in April. The increase was attributed mainly to the government having issued more local debt papers compared to the volume that was redeemed.
On the other hand, 41 percent or P2.11 trillion of total outstanding debt was booked in foreign currencies such as dollar, euro and yen. Aside from loans extended by multilateral lenders and official aid from foreign governments, the Philippines also borrows abroad through the issuance of bonds denominated in these currencies.
Foreign borrowings increased by P53 billion or 2.6 percent from the P2.06 trillion owed to overseas lenders in April. The increase in foreign debt was due mainly to the deprecation of the peso against the dollar, which added P55.84 billion to the debt stock.
Likewise, P210 million worth of debt incurred in April, but was reported too late to be recorded during that month, beefed up obligations as of May.
The government paid P3 billion more than the amount of fresh foreign obligations in May, which tempered the increase in borrowings from abroad. The depreciation of the yen and the euro against the dollar also helped push down outstanding debts by P40 million.
In May, government debt paper denominated in dollars amounted to an equivalent of P1.08 trillion while yen and euro loans stood at P55.04 billion and P28.05 billion, respectively.
The government’s total contingent debt—composed mainly of sovereign guarantees—went up by P9.87 billion or 1.8 percent to P588.83 billion.
The increase was attributed mainly to the depreciation of the peso, net repayments as well as the appreciation of the yen and euro against the dollar.
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