THE government’s debt payments declined in October due to reduced outlays to repay principal as well as lower interest costs, the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) said.

The national government’s debt service bill fell 13.63% year-on-year to P25.202 billion in October and was also lower than the P48.92 billion posted a month earlier.

Some 82% of the total bill went to interest payments at P20.724 billion, down 13% from a year earlier.

Some 66% or P13.69 billion went to domestic creditors.

Meanwhile, 17.7% of the total or P4.478 billion went to principal repayments, down 13.3% year-on-year.

Domestic creditors received 12.5% or P564 million of this total while 87% or P3.914 billion went to foreign creditors.

October’s overall debt service bill took the year-to-date total to P583.42 billion, with 53.8% or P314.46 billion paying for interest and 46% or P268.95 billion used to amortize principal.

Total debt payments during the 10-month period accounted for 65.97% of the P884.29 billion full-year budget, according to the Budget of Expenditures and Sources of Financing (BESF) report.

The government targets a 73-27% borrowing mix in favor of domestic creditors. — Beatrice M. Laforga