THE GOVERNMENT’S outstanding debt slipped in October amid a stronger peso, the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) reported yesterday.

Data from the BTr released on Friday showed the national government’s total debt stock stood at P7.906 trillion as of end-October, lower by 0.02% from the previous month’s P7.907 trillion

Year-on-year, the October debt level was 10.31% higher compared to the P7.167 trillion logged as of the same month last year.

Of this total, 67.08% or P5.304 trillion was sourced locally while 32.89% or P2.601 trillion were from external creditors.

The government’s local debt stood at P5.304 trillion as of end-October, 14.82% higher year-on-year and also up by 0.89% from the end-September level of P5.257 trillion.

“The increase resulted from a P47.53 billion net issuance of government securities, which was partially offset by a P0.52 billion reduction in the local currency valuation of onshore dollar bonds caused by peso appreciation,” the BTr explained.

Since the start of 2019, the domestic debt grew by 11.05% to P527.92 billion.

Meanwhile, state borrowings from external sources totalled P2.601 trillion as of October, 1.83% lower from the previous month’s P2.649 trillion but still 2.14% higher compared to P2.546 trillion in end-October 2018.

The Treasury attributed the smaller external debt stock to the P630 million worth of net repayments made and the peso’s appreciation, which “trimmed the valuation of US dollar-denominated debt by P52.49 billion”.

Meanwhile, the national government’s total guaranteed obligations declined by 1.4% to P477.65 billion in October from the previous month’s record of P484.42 billion.

“For the month, the lower level of guarantees was due to the combined effect of local and third-currency fluctuations that reduced the value of external guarantees by P4.65 billion and P0.03 billion, respectively,” the statement read.

For this year, the government has capped the budget deficit at 3.2% of gross domestic product, and has set a 73-27 ratio for its borrowing plan, in favor of local sources. — B.M. Laforga