Government debt payments decline in September

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THE GOVERNMENT’S debt payments fell sharply to P31.71 billion in September, as both interest and principal payments from domestic lenders declined, the Bureau of the Treasury said.

The national government’s debt service bill fell 73.22% from a year earlier. In August, it paid P73.17 billion.

Interest payments in September totaled P26.4 billion, compared with P32.6 billion a year earlier.

Domestic interest payments accounted for P17.99 billion, down from P24.06 billion a year earlier, while foreign interest payments totaled P8.41 billion, little changed from P8.54 billion a year earlier.

Amortization payments on the other hand were P5.31 billion, down 93.81% from a year earlier.

Domestic principal payments fell to P308 million from P80.59 billion previously, while foreign principal payments were little changed at P5 billion from P5.23 billion.

In the nine months to September, payments totaled P582.9 billion, down 16.27% year on year.

This is equivalent to 82.8% of the P704.02 billion debt service budget this year.

Next year, the government plans to borrow P888.23 billion, up 22.05%.

The government borrows from both domestic and external sources in order to finance projects beyond the limits of its budget, seeking to take on debt worth about 3% of gross domestic product, or about P482.1 billion. — Elijah Joseph C. Tubayan