THE National Government made debt service payments in November amounting to P81.24 billion, or triple the year-earlier total, after amortization payments surged, according to preliminary data from the Bureau of the Treasury.

Amortization payments accounted for 61.6% of the total debt service bill, after they increased by more than seven times to P50 billion in November.

Principal payments to foreign creditors that month amounted to P6.95 billion, while those to domestic lenders totaled P43.07 billion.

Meanwhile, interest payments were up 55.83% at P31.22 billion in November.

Interest paid on domestic debt totaled P27.55 billion, up 72.8% year on year.

These payments consisted of P18.24 billion for fixed-rate treasury bonds, P7.94 billion for retail Treasury bonds, and P1.36 billion for Treasury bills.

Interest paid on external debt, in contrast, dropped 10.17% year on year to P3.68 billion.

The government borrows from foreign and local sources to plug its budget deficit as it spends more than it makes to support programs that will stimulate economic growth.

In the 11 months to November, the debt service bill rose 27.6% from a year earlier to P1.13 trillion.

Amortization payments in the period grew by 37% to P732 billion.

On the other hand, interest payments as of November rose 13.24% to P402 billion.

The National Government’s gross borrowings hit P2.78 trillion at the end of November as it continued to raise funds for its pandemic response.

In November, the Treasury borrowed P26.7 billion. — Jenina P. Ibañez