GROSS BORROWINGS by the National Government reached P2.6 trillion as of end-September as it continued to raise funds to respond to the coronavirus crisis, preliminary data from the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) showed.

Gross borrowings in the first nine months went up by 15.143% versus the same period last year.

In September alone, the Treasury raised P215.106 billion.

Local borrowings, which accounted for the bulk of the total, stood at P166.95 billion that month, 65.32% higher compared with the P100.97 billion in August.

In the same month, Treasury bills (T-bills) resulted in net redemption worth P21 billion, while P187.95 billion in Treasury bonds (T-bonds) were sold.

No amortization payments were recorded in September.

Meanwhile, gross external borrowings hit P48.156 billion in September, or 18.68% higher than the P40.58 billion last year. It almost tripled from the P16.77 billion in August.

The September total consisted of P7.86 billion in foreign project loans and P40.29 billion in foreign program loans.

With P6.59 billion in amortization payments, net external borrowings reached P41.56 billion.

For the nine-month period, gross domestic borrowings reached P2.096 trillion, up by 22.56% from the same period last year.

This was made up of P1.09 trillion in T-bonds, P463.32 billion in retail treasury bonds, and P540 billion in short-term borrowings from the central bank. The government also recorded the P6.93-billion redemption in T-bills.

Net local borrowings hit P2.043 trillion after the BTr paid P405.4 billion in maturing obligations.

Gross external borrowings in the nine months to September reached P506.67 billion, declining by 7.92% from a year ago.

Broken down, the BTr raised P146.17 billion from global bonds, P121.97 billion from euro-denominated notes, and P24.19 billion in Japanese yen-denominated securities. It also incurred P139.98 billion in program loans along with P74.36 billion in project loans.

The government repaid P219.11 billion of its outstanding foreign debt so far, resulting in P287.56 billion in net external borrowings for the nine-month period.

The government plans to borrow P3 trillion from local and foreign sources this year to plug a budget deficit seen to reach 9.3% of gross domestic product (GDP). — Jenina P. Ibañez