GROSS BORROWINGS by the National Government had reached P2.75 trillion as of end-October as it continued to raise money for its pandemic response, preliminary data from the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) showed.

Gross borrowings in the first 10 months declined by 6% from a year earlier.

Year to date, the government’s debt accounted for 91% of the P3-trillion borrowing plan for the entire year. In October alone, the Treasury borrowed P145.78 billion.

Accounting for the bulk of the total, gross domestic borrowings stood at P133.73 billion that month, 19.9% lower than P166.95 billion in September.

In the same month, Treasury bills (T-bills) resulted in net redemption worth P37 billion, while P89.89 billion of fixed-rate Treasury bonds (T-bonds) were sold.

The Treasury redeemed P52.7 billion in October.

For the first 10 months of the year, gross domestic borrowings stood at P2.29 trillion.

Meanwhile, gross external borrowings reached P12.049 billion in October, or about half of the P24.169 billion posted last year. It declined by 75% from P48.156 billion in September borrowings.

The October total consisted entirely of foreign project loans and there were no foreign program loans.   

Total gross borrowings from foreign creditors slid by 9.7% to P518.71 billion in the first 10 months from P574.44 billion a year earlier.

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 P86.41 billion in project loans.

The government has repaid P223.93 billion of its outstanding foreign debt so far, resulting in P294.78 in net foreign borrowings for the 10-month period.

The government borrows from local and foreign creditors to finance the budget deficit that has widened since last year after a coronavirus pandemic stalled the economy and pulled down tax collections.

This year’s budget deficit is expected to reach 9.3% of gross domestic product (GDP). — JPI