PH debt hits record P6.21 trillion in February on weaker peso
MANILA — The national government’s outstanding debt climbed to a record-high P6.208 trillion in February as the government borrowed more while the peso weakened that month.
Bureau of the Treasury data released Wednesday showed that the end–of-February national government debt further rose 4.5 percent from P5.941 trillion during the same month in 2016 as well as increased 1.5 percent from P6.115 trillion last January.
Domestic debt went up 3.5 percent year-on-year and 0.8 percent month-on-month to P3.985 trillion “primarily due to the net issuance of government securities amounting to P31.68 billion and the effect of peso depreciation on the value of onshore dollar bonds amounting to P250 million,” the Treasury explained in a statement.
The Treasury noted that the peso weakened to 50.255:$1 as of the end of February from end-of-January’s 49.757:$1. The peso slid to over 10-year low levels since mid-February.
As for foreign debt, these rose 6.3 percent year-on-year and 2.8 percent month-on-month to P2.223 trillion.
“Peso depreciation against the US dollar increased the peso value of external debt by P21.64 billion alongside net availments worth P39.31 billion. These more than offset the impact of third-currency depreciation against the US dollar amounting to P220 million,” the Treasury said.
The national government’s outstanding guaranteed obligations, meanwhile, grew 14.8 percent year-on-year and 0.5 percent month-on-month to P521.8 billion.
“The increment on national government guarantees was due to the effect of currency fluctuations and net availment on external guarantees amounting to P3.48 billion and P210 million, respectively. These far outpaced the net repayment on domestic guarantees amounting to P970 million,” according to the Treasury. SFM
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