GROSS BORROWINGS by the National Government declined 16% to P2.16 trillion in 2022, the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) said.

Data from the BTr showed that total borrowings dropped 16% year on year from the P2.58 trillion seen as of end-December 2021.

However, the P2.16-trillion gross borrowings were below the P2.2-trillion target for the year.

In December alone, total gross borrowings stood at P59.43 billion, versus the net redemption of P196 billion in the year prior.

During the month, local debt accounted for more than half or 55% of total gross borrowings.

Gross domestic debt stood at P32.96 billion in December, a reversal of the P236-billion net redemption in the same month in the previous year.

The BTr raised P57.97 billion from fixed rate Treasury bonds, while Treasury bills resulted in a net redemption of P25.01 billion.

Meanwhile, gross external borrowings in December fell 33.6% to P26.48 billion. This consisted entirely of new project loans.

For the full year, the bulk came from domestic sources, which accounted for over three-fourths or 76% of gross borrowings.

Local gross borrowings declined by 18% to P1.64 trillion in 2022 from P2.01 trillion in the previous year.

Broken down, this consisted of P834.48 billion worth of retail Treasury bonds and P1.19 trillion worth of fixed-rate Treasury bonds. It also included a net redemption of Treasury bills worth P385.8 billion.

Meanwhile, external gross borrowings reached P520.9 billion, 8.4% lower than the P568.67 billion in 2021.

This includes P120.68 billion in new project loans and P136.6 billion in program loans.

It also consisted of global bonds and Samurai bonds, which raised P234.26 billion and P28.55 billion, respectively.

The government borrows from foreign and domestic sources to close its widening fiscal deficit.

In 2022, the budget gap was at P1.61 trillion, bringing the fiscal deficit to 7.33% of gross domestic product (GDP). This was higher than the government’s 6.9% target.

This year, the government plans to borrow P2.207 trillion to fund a budget deficit capped at 6.1% of GDP.

Of the total, 75% or P1.654 trillion will be sourced domestically. The remaining P553.5 billion will be borrowed from external sources. — L.M.J.C.Jocson