Debt service falls sharply in 1st half to P378.4B

Posted on August 10, 2017

THE GOVERNMENT’S debt service bill fell in the first half led by a decline in domestic amortization payments, the Bureau of the Treasury said.

National government debt servicing in the first six months of the year totaled P378.37 billion, down from the P507.79 billion paid out a year earlier.

This is equivalent to 58.46% of the P647.28 billion programmed for debt payments this year.

In the first half, amortization payments hit P226.79 billion, down 35.95% from a year earlier.

Of this amount, domestic principal payments declined sharply year on year to P115.74 billion and external principal payments on the other hand fell 12.19% to P111.05 billion.

Interest payments in the first semester meanwhile stood at P151.58 billion, little changed from the P153.71 billion posted a year earlier.

Domestic interest paid was at P86.62 billion, while foreign interest payments for the first half reached P49.89 billion.

Interest payments on maturing government debt paper as of end-June totaled P1.45 billion for Treasury bills, P78.08 billion for Treasury bonds, and P21.34 billion for retail Treasury bonds.

In June, total debt service amounted to P25.04 billion, up 7.9% from a year earlier. Month on month, the debt service bill fell 68.05%.

Principal payments in June were little changed at P5.77 billion, while interest payments rose to P19.27 billion from P17.66 billion a year earlier.

Next year, the government plans to borrow P889.72 billion, which is 22.3% more than its revised P727.64 billion program for this year.

The government borrows from both local and external sources to plug its budget deficit of 3% of gross domestic product, or about P482.1 billion. -- Elijah Joseph C. Tubayan