THE BANGKO SENTRAL ng Pilipinas (BSP) approved $4.8 billion of external borrowings by the government in the first three months of 2022 in order to bankroll its coronavirus pandemic response and infrastructure projects.
This amount was 69% higher than the $2.84 billion approved in the same period of 2021, the BSP said in a statement on Wednesday.
Quarter on quarter, the approved borrowings increased by 60% from the $3 billion approved in the fourth quarter of 2021.
The BSP said the approved borrowings included a bond issuance amounting to $2.25 billion as well as three project loans worth a total of $2.55 billion.
Broken down, $2.25 billion of the approved borrowings will be used for general financing of the National Government, while $2.08 billion will fund transportation.
Meanwhile, $300 million will be allocated for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic response, and $175.1 million allotted for infrastructure projects.
Under the 1987 Constitution, the Monetary Board is mandated to give its approval to any foreign loan agreement entered into by the National Government.
“The BSP promotes the judicious use of the resources and ensures that external debt requirements are at manageable levels, to support external debt sustainability,” it said.
The country’s external debt hit a record $106.421 as of end-2021 as the government continued to ramp up borrowings amid the pandemic. — LWTN