National Government debt up 2% to P4.184T

Published by rudy Date posted on January 15, 2009

The National Government’s debt stock increased by two percent or P84 billion as of end-October 2008 from the end-September level, the Bureau of the Treasury reported yesterday.

Total outstanding debt as of end-October stood at P4.184 trillion, up from the end-September level of P4.100 trillion, data further showed. Of the amount, the government owed P1.804 trillion or 43 percent to foreign creditors and P2.380 trillion or 57 percent to domestic creditors.

At P4.184 trillion, theoretically each of the 90.4 million Filipinos is indebted by P46,283.

Data showed that the domestic debt increased by 0.4 percent or P10 billion from the end-September 2008 level as the government issued more Treasury bills (T-bills) and bonds during the period.

The Treasury, meanwhile, attributed the increase in the National Government’s foreign debt of P74 billion or 4.2 percent to the “P1 billion net availments, P12 billion depreciation of the third currencies against the dollar and P61 billion depreciation of the peso against the dollar.”

“The increase was attributed to the foreign contingent obligations due to the combined effects of the P16 billion depreciation of the peso against the dollar, P10 billion net depreciation of the third currencies against the dollar and P2-billion net repayments,” the Treasury said.

The peso closed at 48.746 against the greenback at the end of October from September’s closing rate of 46.917 against the dollar, data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas showed.

A weaker peso increases the amount of the government’s foreign debt as it would need more peso to pay for the country’s dollar-denominated debt.

On the other hand, the contingent debt of the National Government, composed mainly of guarantees issued by the National Government, rose to P537 billion as of end-October, higher by P24 billion or 4.7 percent from the end-September 2008 level of P513 billion.

The contingent debt is composed mainly of guarantees issued by the National Government.

Finance officials are stepping up efforts to manage the country’s fiscal position. This year, the government expects to incur a deficit of P102 billion.

The government has yet to announce the actual deficit figures for last year but finance officials said the yearend deficit is likely below the program of P75 billion.–Iris C. Gonzales, Philippine Star

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