OUTSTANDING Treasury bills (T-bills) and bonds (T-bonds) issued by the government inched up by 1% to P7.271 trillion as of end-April, according to government data.

Latest Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) data showed outstanding government securities barely rose from the P7.203 trillion seen as of March.

Year on year, however, the debt pile climbed 31% from P5.56 trillion in the period ending April 2020 and also increased by 7% since the start of the year.

Broken down, outstanding T-bills edged up by 1.9% to P1.06 trillion as of April from P1.049 trillion at end-March. Year on year, it jumped by 64%.

The total was made up of P138 billion in outstanding 91-day debt papers, P212 billion in 182-day T-bills and P710 billion in 364-day securities.

Meanwhile, outstanding T-bonds reached P6.211 trillion as of last month, up by 1% from P6.154 trillion the month prior. This was also higher by 26% compared with the year-ago level.

The end-April debt stock was made up of P252.51 billion in three-year debt papers, P351.78 billion in five-year T-bonds, P518.13 billion in seven-year instruments, P719.55 billion in 10-year notes, P420.33 billion in 20-year IOUs, and P235.98 billion in 25-year securities.

Meanwhile, outstanding retail Treasury bonds reached P2.596 trillion as of April.

The government runs on a budget deficit as it spends more than the revenue it generates to boost economic growth. It borrows from domestic and external lenders to plug this funding gap.

The government began ramping up its borrowings last year to finance its budget deficit that hit 7.63% of gross domestic product (GDP), up from the record low ratio of 3.38% seen in 2019.

For this year, it is looking to borrow P3 trillion as the fiscal gap is seen to hit 8.9% of GDP.

Of this total, P2.22 trillion will be raised from local sources and the remaining P785.6 billion will be sourced offshore. — B.M. Laforga