• Govt debt payments down in 2017 on lower amortization


    Debt payments made by the government last year dropped from 2016 due to lower amortization costs, Bureau of the Treasury data showed.

    The bureau noted P680.46 billion as having been forwarded to creditors in 2017, 13.8 percent lower than the P789.96 billion recorded in the previous year.

    Interest payments, which accounted for 45 percent of the total debt payments, rose by 1.9 percent to P310.45 billion.

    Domestic interest payments took the lion’s share at P210.47 billion, up 2.4 percent, while foreign debt — which rose by 1 percent — comprised P100.06 billion.

    Amortization expenses, meanwhile, were down 23.9 percent to P369.92 billion and accounted for the bulk of total debt payments.

    Domestic amortization was at P229.39 billion, down by 26.4 percent. Foreign debt amortization also declined to P140.53 billion, 19 percent lower.

    Earlier, the Treasury reported that the government’s outstanding debt stood at P6.65 trillion last year, expanding by nearly P600 billion from 2016 due to factors such as pre-funding for this year’s spending requirements.

    The Department of Finance has said that national government debt will see a short-term increase as the Duterte administration implements an ambitious infrastructure program.

    Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd has said that the ‘Build Build Build’ program will be shifting into high gear this year with the rollout of a first set of big-ticket infrastructure projects and the implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Law.


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