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Philippines debt rises to new record high P14.51 trillion

MANILA – The Philippines’ sovereign debt ballooned to P14.51 trillion, a new record high, as of the end of November 2023 after the government increased its local borrowings.
Data released by the Bureau of the Treasury  shows that the national government’s running debt balance as of end-November last year stood at P14.51 trillion, up 0.19% from P14.48 trillion seen as of end-October 2023.

This as the Bureau of the Treasury  reported that the National Government (NG) has paid P1.53 trillion of its total debt from January to November 2023.

The NG settled a bigger amount of its debt obligations for the first 11 months of 2023, a 4.8 percent higher than its debt payment of PHP991.06 billion made in the same period in 2022.

The government has programmed P1.55 trillion for debt payment for the full year of 2023.

The Bureau of Treasury said the month-on-month increment in the government debt stock was “primarily due to the net issuance of domestic securities.”

Of the total running debt, the lion’s share or 69.09% were sourced locally while the remaining 30.91% were from foreign sources.

The country’s domestic debt totaled P10.02 trillion, up 1.23% from P9.9 trillion as of end-October 2023 “due to the net issuance of government securities.”

“New domestic debt issued during the month totaled P171.091 billion while principal redemption amounted to P45.14 billion, underlying a net issuance of P125.95 billion,” the Treasury Bureau said.

Meanwhile, the country’s external debt amounted to P4.48 trillion, down 2.06% from P4.6 trillion as of the end of the prior month.

“For November, the lower level of external debt was due to the net repayment of foreign loans amounting to P1.08 billion and favorable foreign exchange movements, wherein the P109.37 billion reduction attributed to peso appreciation against the US dollar far exceeded the upward adjustment linked to third-currency appreciation of P16.30 billion,” the Treasury said.

The country’s debt-to-gross domestic product (GDP) ratio, which measures the amount of the government’s debt relative to the size of the economy, improved at 60.2% as of the third quarter of the year from 61% of the second quarter.