THE COUNTRY’S general government (GG) debt as a share of the economy rose in the first half, the Department of Finance (DoF) reported Friday.

In a statement, the DoF said GG debt relative to gross domestic product (GDP) as of end-June stood at 37.6%, inching up from the 36.1% ratio recorded in the same period a year ago.

It said the country’s consolidated GG debt stood at P6.8 trillion in the first half, 13.4% higher year-on-year and up 1.49% from the first quarter’s P6.7 trillion.

The latest figure was nevertheless lower by 1.05% compared to the first quarter when the GG share in GDP was at 38%.

Of the P6.8-trillion total, more than half or 63.2% to P4.3 trillion were borrowed from domestic creditors, while the remaining 36.7% or P2.5 trillion were from foreign lenders.

The national government’s debt net of the Bond Sinking Fund went up 1.38% to P7.3 trillion in the first half from the P7.2 trillion in the first quarter and was higher by 12.7% year-on-year.

Of this total, domestic debt also rose by 1.9% while the external debt went down by 1.2% from the first quarter record, the DoF said.

Meanwhile, local governments’ debt likewise climbed 17.4% year on year and by 3.6% compared to the first quarter.

Obligations by the social security institutions such as the Government Service Insurance System and Social Security System did not add to the debt stock during the six-month period but were able to increase their intra-sector holdings of government securities by 2.2% compared to the first quarter. — B.M. Laforga