PHL debt swells to P14.2 trillion, may hit P15.8-T by 2024

By Jennifer T. Santos

MANILA – The Philippines national debt has swelled to a new record high as of end-July of P14.24 trillion and experts expect it to hit P15.8 trillion by 2024.

Data released by the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) showed the national government’s running debt stock stood at P14.24 trillion, up 0.7% from P14.15 trillion as of end-June.

The Treasury said the increase was “primarily due to the net issuance of domestic securities.”

Majority or 68.9% of the outstanding debt were sourced locally, while the remaining 31.1% were external borrowings.

Last month, National Treasurer Rosalia de Leon said the country’s sovereign debt is expected to increase to as high as P15.8 trillion in 2024.

As of end-June, debt-to-GDP ratio — represents the amount of the government’s debt stock relative to the size of the economy — stood at 61% from 62.1% in the same period last year “as economic conditions continue to recover from the impact of health and geopolitical events,” according to the BTr.

Broken down, the P14.24 trillion outstanding debt was composed of P9.81 trillion in domestic borrowings and P4.43 trillion in foreign obligations.

Domestic debt saw an increase of 1.1% from the end-June level of P9.8 trillion due to “the P110.39 net issuance of government bonds driven by the national government’s financing requirements, offsetting the P850 million effect of local currency appreciation against the US dollar on onshore foreign currency-denominated securities.”

Meanwhile, external debt decreased by 0.3% from P4.4 trillion as of end-June “due to the effect of peso appreciation against the US dollar amounting to P42.87 billion.”