THE national government’s outstanding debt eased to P7.451 trillion in February due to lower domestic and foreign borrowings, the Bureau of the Treasury reported on Thursday.

In a statement, the Treasury said the amount was 0.6 percent or P42.602 billion lower compared to January’s record P7.494 trillion.

“Of the total stock, 34.3 percent was sourced from external markets while 65.7 percent was owed to domestic creditors,” it added.

Domestic borrowings totaling P4.898 trillion — down 0.2 percent from the previous month — accounted for the bulk of outstanding debt, while external debt fell by 1.2 percent to P2.553 trillion.

Outstanding debt the year before stood at P6.820 trillion with domestic and foreign obligations at P4.429 trillion and P2.390 trillion, respectively.

“For February, the lower domestic debt was principally due to the net redemption of government securities amounting to P11.46 billion and the P0.19 billion downward valuation of onshore dollar bonds brought about by peso appreciation,” the Treasury said.

A foreign exchange rate of P51.76 against the dollar was used for the latest data, up from January’s P52.16:$1. The exchange rate used a year earlier was P50.07:$1.

The decline in foreign debt for the month was “due to the net repayment of foreign loans amounting to P3.15 billion and the impact of currency fluctuations on both dollar and third-currency denominated debt amounting to P19.42 billion and P8.38 billion, respectively,” the Treasury said.

Government-guaranteed debt, meanwhile, fell by P13.914 billion or 2.9 percent to P473.371 billion from January, which was down 6 percent from a year earlier.

The month-on-month decrease, the Treasury said, was due to “due to net repayments on both domestic and external guarantees amounting to P8.51 billion and P0.11 billion, respectively.”

“Local and third currency appreciation, which lowered the peso value of external guarantees, reduced the value further by P3.11 billion and P2.18 billion, respectively,” it added.