Govt debt rises to record P10.4 trillion in February

The government’s outstanding debt soared to a new all-time high of P10.40 trillion at end-February, according to the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr).

Treasury data showed on Monday that the amount was up by 0.7 percent from the P10.32 trillion recorded in January.

Of the figure, 29 percent was generated from foreign creditors and 71 percent from local ones.

Domestic debt reached P7.36 trillion, up by 0.5 percent from end-January’s P7.32 trillion due primarily to net availment of domestic financing.

External debt, meanwhile, likewise went up by 1.4 percent to P3.04 trillion due to the net availment of foreign loans amounting to P14.53 billion and the P36.03 billion effects of local currency depreciation against the dollar.

“The peso depreciated against the US dollar from P48.076 as of end-January 2021 to P48.653 as of end-February 201,” it said.

Government-guaranteed debt declined by 2.1 percent or P9.67 billion to P446.72 billion at end-February.

“The lower level of guarantees was due to the net redemption of both local and foreign guarantees amounting to P9.99 billion and P0.34 billion, respectively,” the Treasury explained.

Third-currency exchange rate fluctuations, it added, further lowered the peso value of external guarantees by P1.77 billion, slightly offsetting the P2.43-billion effect of the local currency depreciation against the dollar.

The Budget department has said the government’s outstanding debt could reach P11.98 trillion this year.