National debt soars to new high of ₱11.16 trillion in June

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 29) — The country’s outstanding loans rose to a fresh high in June as the government continues to borrow more to finance its pandemic response measures.

Data from the Treasury Bureau published Thursday revealed the national debt stock reached ₱11.16 trillion by the end of the month, breaching the previous ₱11.07 trillion record high logged in May.

The latest figure is also a 23.3% jump from the ₱9.05 trillion figure recorded as of end-June last year.

Both local and foreign borrowings rose during the month compared to end-May’s levels, the bureau also observed.

Domestic loans reached ₱7.93 trillion as of end-June, 0.3% higher than the previous month’s tally due to the net issuance of government securities.

External loans, meanwhile, climbed 2.3% to ₱3.22 trillion month-on-month.

This was because of the “impact of local-currency depreciation against the US Dollar amounting to ₱64.86 billion and net availment of foreign loans amounting to ₱25.52 billion,” the Treasury said. It added these were offset by the ₱18.27 billion drop in the peso value of loans denominated in other currencies like the euro and yen due to currency appreciation.

The government’s guaranteed obligations also went up by 2.8% in June, reaching ₱438.6 billion by the end of the month. The bureau said this was due to the net availment of ₱11.07 billion worth of local guarantees, along with the impact of local currency depreciation reaching ₱3.98 billion.

“Third-currency exchange rate fluctuations and net repayments were able to offset ₱1.48 billion and ₱1.56 billion respectively,” added the bureau.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said in June that while the country’s debt level is high, it is still sustainable and could be managed in the years ahead.