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Gov’t borrowings swell to P3 trillion

THE National Government borrowed P3.048 trillion in the first 11 months of the year, already exceeding the P3-trillion full-year target, data from the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) showed.

According to the BTr data, the government’s gross borrowings in the January to November period was more than triple the P982 billion raised during the same period in 2019.

Since May, government borrowings have already surpassed the P1.02 trillion raised for the entire 2019.

To compare, the P3.048 trillion borrowed so far this year is nearly as big as the P3.2 trillion raised between 2017 and 2019.

In November alone, gross borrowings surged by 764% to P124 billion from P14.346 billion a year ago. Domestic debt accounted for 92% of the total borrowings.

Gross borrowings from local lenders skyrocketed by 1,324% to P114.835 billion in November, from P8.061 billion in the same month a year ago. This consisted of P69.835 billion worth of Treasury bonds (T-bonds) and P45 billion in Treasury bills (T-bills).

The BTr did not make any amortization payments in November.

The government also secured a P9.202-billion project loan during the month, 46% higher than the P6.285 billion a year ago.

It paid P6.752 billion for its existing debt, reducing the net external borrowings to P2.45 billion.

Year to date, gross borrowings consisted of 81% in domestic debt and 19% in foreign debt.

Local borrowings surged by 261% to P2.464 trillion during the 11-month period, from P682 billion in the same period last year.

The government raised P827 billion from the sale of retail Treasury bonds; P632 billion from T-bonds; P540 billion through short-term borrowing from the central bank; and P465.31 billion from T-bills.

Meanwhile, foreign debt reached P583.64 billion in the 11 months, nearly double the P300 billion logged the year prior. This included P365 billion in program loans and P33 billion in project loans. The government also raised P119 billion via dollar-denominated bonds and P67 billion in euro bonds issued earlier this year.

Excluding the debt repayments made in the January to November period, the government’s net borrowings hit P2.824 trillion, up 232% year on year.

The government runs a budget deficit as it spends more than the revenue it generates. It borrows to fill in the budget gap expected to hit 7.6% of gross domestic product this year. — Beatrice M. Laforga

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