Government borrowings rose at a much slower pace in the first nine months of the year as the need for additional financing to augment the country’s coronavirus war chest started to wane, data from the Bureau of the Treasury revealed.

The Duterte administration’s gross borrowings in January to September period increased by only 1.6 percent, significantly slower compared with the 179 percent acceleration recorded in the same period last year.

Based on preliminary data from the Treasury, the three-quarter borrowings stood at P2.6 trillion, around P400 billion larger than the 2.56 trillion logged in the same period last year.

In September alone, gross borrowings reached P215.1 billion, more than double compared with P90.6 billion a year earlier.

At end September, gross domestic borrowings amounted to P2.09 trillion, higher by 22 percent from P1.71 trillion. Local debt accounted for 80 percent of the total.

Foreign debt, meanwhile, reached P506.66 billion in January to September, down eight percent from a year ago’s level of P550.26 billion. This included P38.35 billion worth of program loans and P2.22 billion in project loans.

For 2021, the government has set a P3.1-trillion borrowing program. Of which, around 75 percent is expected to be raised domestically.

As of September 2021, the total outstanding debt stock of the national government reached P11.92 trillion, up by 2.4 percent from P11.64 trillion in August and 27 percent from P9.37 trillion in the same month last year.

Of the total debt stock, 70.4 percent were held by domestic creditors, while remaining 29.6 percent were sourced from foreign banks.

According to the Treasury, the month-on-month increase was “due to net issuance of both domestic and external debt and peso depreciation against the US dollar.”

Domestic debt in September amounted to P8.39 trillion, two percent higher from the end-August level of P8.22 trillion.

Since the start of the year, local debt registered an increment of P1.69 trillion. Year-on-year, the amount increased 30 percent from P6.44 trillion.

Meanwhile, the external debt of P3.53 trillion at end-September was three percent higher from the previous month’s P3.42 trillion. Year-on-year, it jumped 20 percent from P2.93 trillion.

Source: Manila Bulletin (