MANILA – The Philippines’ sovereign debt increased by P212 billion and hit an all time high of P14.48 trillion in October, the Bureau of Treasury said.
The increase was attributed to an increase in domestic and foreign borrowings as well as the peso’s depreciation against the US dollar.
At the end of October, the government owed P9.9 trillion from domestic creditors, which was P167.98 billion higher than in September.
Foreign debt meanwhile reached P4.58 trillion in October, which was P44.15 billion from the previous month.
“For October, the increase in external debt was due to the net availment of foreign loans amounting to P33.52 billion, and the P11.84 billion upward adjustment in valuation caused by peso depreciation against the US dollar,” Treasury said.
Of the country’s total debt, 31.62 percent were borrowed externally while 68.38 percent were domestic borrowings.
The higher debt in October was in contrast to the decrease in the total debt stock in September.
The Philippines has been borrowing heavily over the past few years to finance its COVID-19 pandemic response and funds its ambitious infrastructure push.
Government economic managers have said that the increase in debt is not worrisome as the country can “outgrow” it.
However, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr himself said in August that the government is “worrying” about the country’s debt even if the country is “doing better than its neighbors.”
Marcos said the Philippines debt-to-gross domestic product ratio is “not ideal.” (with Jeanne Michael Penaranda)