April debt service bill P53.84 billion, up 93%

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BoT treasury

THE national government had a debt service bill of P53.84 billion in April, up 93.35%, the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) said.

Based on BTr data, total debt payments for the first four months amounted to P274.019 billion, up 21.22%.

Interest payments for the month amounted to P23.536 billion, up 1.57% from a year earlier.

The government paid P16.528 billion to domestic lenders in April, up 2.61% year on year.

Interest paid to foreign lenders fell 0.79% to P7.008 billion.

In the first four months of the year, interest payments totaled P131.306 billion, up 9.12% from a year earlier.

Amortization for the month totaled P30.304 billion, up 548.35% year on year.

In the first four months, amortization payments amounted to P142.713 billion, up 35% from a year earlier.

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III has said that the Philippine government had to take advantage of low interest loans before the country becomes an upper middle-income economy.

“If we are not growing and borrowing, that’s really bad. But because we are growing, we have the ability to borrow more because we have the productive capacity to pay more,” Mr. Dominguez said.

According to Mr. Dominguez, once the country reaches upper middle-income status, “our cost of money is going to be higher because we will no longer qualify for the lower interest rates for poorer countries.” — Reicelene Joy N. Ignacio