Foreign share of government borrowing up sharply in Sept.

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GOVERNMENT BORROWING rose in September due to an increase in foreign loans, the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) said.

The government borrowed P43.98 billion in September, up 3.48% from a year earlier.

Funds borrowed from foreign sources accounted for two thirds of the total, or P29.53 billion, up sharply from P5.50 billion a year earlier.

Foreign project loans doubled to P2.61 billion while program loans grew six times to P26.92 billion.

Domestic borrowing meanwhile fell sharply to P14.48 billion from P37 billion a year earlier.

Treasury bill issues rose to P8.72 billion while Treasury bond floats fell 81% to P5.73 billion.

The government borrows funds to pay for public projects and programs beyond its ability to finance from the budget, amid an aggressive spending program largely focused on infrastructure.

The government hopes to maintain a budget deficit of 3% of gross domestic product, a rule of thumb widely deemed to represent prudent deficit-spending levels.

Total borrowing in the nine months to September stood at P683.28 billion, up 9.54% from a year earlier.

This is equivalent to 76.93% of the P888.23 billion programmed for borrowing this year.

Of the total, P284.28 billion, or 41.6% was sourced from foreign lenders in the nine months to September.

The government borrowed P399 billion, or 58.3% of the total, from domestic creditors. — Elijah Joseph C. Tubayan