9-mo borrowings hit P2.56T on Covid impact

THE Philippines posted another record high as the government’s gross borrowings, ramped up as part of the Covid response, neared the P3-trillion mark as of September, according to the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr).

Based on BTr data, the government’s gross external and domestic borrowings reached P2.56 trillion in the January-to-September period. In the eight months from January to August 2020, it had already reached P2.47 trillion, which is the highest in 16 years.

The gross external and domestic borrowings in the January-to- September period this year was a 179.145-percent increase from P917.283 billion posted in the same period in 2019.

Under external borrowings, the country’s program loans reached P344.889 billion while project loans reached P19.313 billion in the January-to-September period.

In terms of domestic borrowings, Retail Treasury Bonds amounted to P827.107 billion in the January-to-September period while Fixed Rate Treasury Bonds reached P492.859 billion.

Meanwhile, the data also showed that the government’s gross borrowings reached P90.592 billion in September, a 8,851.78-percent increase from the P1.012 billion.

In terms of the country’s external gross borrowings, BTr data showed it reached P40.575 billion, a 162.45-percent increase from the P15.46 billion in September last year.

For September, program loans reached P38.353 billion and project loans reached P2.222 billion, according to BTr data.

With regards to gross domestic borrowings, BTr data showed it reached P50.017 billion, a 246.186- percent increase from a decline of P14,448 billion.

The data showed Fixed Rate Treasury Bonds reached P45 billion while net Treasury Bills reached P5.017 billion in September 2020.

The Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) earlier said it expects the country’s debt-to-GDP ratio this year to increase to 53.91 percent of GDP—a level it has not seen in over a decade—from a record low of 39.6 percent of GDP last year.

By the end of this year, the national government expects its outstanding debt to reach P10.16 trillion, up by 31.42 percent from last year’s amount.

As tax collections are down amid the pandemic, the DBCC projects the country’s budget deficit to more than double to 9.6 percent of GDP or P1.815 trillion from only 3.4 percent of GDP or P660.2 billion last year.


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