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PHL 10-month debt service bill hits P1.16T

THE National Government’s debt service bill rose 99% year on year to P1.162 trillion in the 10 months to October, according to the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr).

The BTr reported that the 10-month tally exceeded the full-year debt service budget of P1.005 trillion and was up 38% year on year.

In October, debt service payments rose 8% year on year to P27.188 billion, but was down 93% compared with September.

In October, interest payments accounted for 81% of the debt service bill at P22.07 billion, up 6.5% year on year.

Interest paid on local debt was P15.22 billion, up 11%. These include P10 billion to service Treasury bonds, P4.332 billion for retail Treasury bonds and P804 million for Treasury bills.

Amortization payments rose 14.3% year on year to P5.12 billion during the month.

Principal payments on domestic debt fell 42% to P329 million, while those for external debt rose 22% P4.789 billion.

The BTr also settled P6.85 billion in interest payments on foreign debt that month, down 2% from a year earlier.

Amortization payments more than tripled from year-earlier levels to P826.86 billion in the 10 months to October.

The government plans to borrow P3 trillion from both domestic and foreign lenders this year to plug the budget deficit, which is expected to widen to 7.6% of economic output. — Beatrice M. Laforga

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