THE national government’s outstanding debt rose at the start of 2016 as higher foreign obligations offset the drop in domestic debt, the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) reported on Friday.
Preliminary Treasury data placed government debt at P5.900 trillion, up by 2.6 percent from a year earlier. It was, however, 0.9 percent lower from December last year.
The local component of total debt stood at P3.824 trillion, a 0.1-percent decline compared to January 2015. Measured against December 2015, domestic debt decreased by 1.6 percent.
The BTr said the lower domestic debt was due to the “net redemption of government securities amounting to P60.57 billion offsetting the P300 million upward adjustment in the peso value of foreign currency domestic liabilities due to peso depreciation.”
Foreign debt, meanwhile, increased by 7.9 percent year-on-year and by 0.3 percent month-on-month to P2.076 trillion.
“The increment in external obligations was due to the impact of peso weakness on dollar-denominated debt that raised the peso value by P23.49 billion,” the Treasury said.
The bureau said this outweighed the depreciation of third currencies against the dollar and net repayments that reduced the peso value of debt by P4.39 billion and P13.19 billion, respectively.
The country’s foreign borrowings in November were priced at an exchange rate of P47.68 to a dollar.
Debt guaranteed by the national government, meanwhile, rose by 6 percent to P442 billion in January. From December, guaranteed debt increased by 1 percent.
The Treasury said the decline was due to the combine effect of net drawdowns on domestic guarantees from credit lines with the Development Bank of the Philippines amounting to P2.37 billion as well as the P3.40 billion impact of the peso depreciation reversing the currency adjustments on third currencies-denominated debt that reduced the peso value and net repayments of external guarantees by P890 million and P280 million, respectively.