Treasury lowers govt debt ceiling

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The Bureau of the Treasury reduced its national government debt ceiling by 0.7 percent this year, taking into account the impact of collections by revenue-generating agencies on the country’s fiscal condition.

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“For 2017, we are looking at P6.47 trillion of national government debt—that is about 40.76 percent of gross domestic product (GDP),” National Treasurer Rosalia de Leon said.

The revised debt ceiling compares with P6.52 trillion of obligations previously programmed.

The new debt target is 6 percent higher than the P6.09 trillion obligations recorded in 2016, equivalent to 42.18 percent of GDP.

“We expect a very big revenue collection from the Bureau of Internal Revenue and Bureau of Customs,” De Leon said.

The BIR has set a P1.78 trillion collection target this year, and BoC has P459.64 billion.

The Department of Finance earlier said it was sure that the BIR and the BoC could attain this year’s collection goals as sweeping reforms are now being implemented to improve taxpayer satisfaction, arrest corruption, and restore public trust in the government’s main revenue-generating agencies.

In the five months to May, the BIR collected P716.8 billion and the BoC managed to collect P174.9 billion.

The national government debt rose by 7.8 percent year-on-year to P6.34 trillion in May, but fell from April after the government redeemed some of its securities and a stronger peso cut the value of dollar bonds.

Domestic borrowings accounted for 65 percent or P4.13 trillion of the debt, while 35 percent or P2.208 trillion were owed to foreign creditors.

Domestic debt grew by 9 percent year-on-year from P3.79 trillion, while foreign obligations rose 5.7 percent from P2.08 trillion.

BTr data showed the country’s foreign loans were computed at an exchange rate of P49.76 to a dollar in May, softer compared with P46.72 a year earlier.

Month-on-month, the national government’s outstanding debt fell by P25.06 billion or 0.4 percent.

Domestic debt fell by P22.77 billion or 0.5 percent, while external obligations were lower by P2.29 billion or 0.1 percent.

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