Borrowings rise 121% to P1.86T

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    The government’s borrowings as of end-July rose by 121.14 percent from its year ago level as funds sourced from both foreign lenders and the domestic market increased from the same period last year.

    Data posted by the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) on its website showed gross financing in the first seven months of the year totaled to P1.86 trillion, a significant increase from the P839.75 billion recorded a year ago.

    The government has tapped local and international sources to support its funding for the country’s coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) response, especially as revenues weakened amid slower economic activity since the quarantine was implemented.

    Gross external borrowings for the period jumped by 110.39 percent, to P481.15 billion from P228.69 billion a year ago.

    Meanwhile, gross domestic borrowings totaled to P1.38 trillion in the first seven months of the year, soaring by 125.17 percent from the P611.06 billion posted in the same period last year.

    For July alone, gross financing amounted to P134.53 billion. In the same period last year, the government posted a redemption of P1.09 billion.

    Gross foreign borrowings stood at P67.7 billion, significantly higher than the P3.22 billion a year ago while P66.84 billion was recorded on the domestic side, a reversal of the net redemption of P4.31 billion posted in July last year.

    Karl Kendrick Chua, acting socioeconomic planning secretary, said in a statement earlier this week that the government needed to borrow more in 2020 to help fund emergency response, social protection programs, and other related expenditures that would provide immediate relief to Filipinos affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. — Angela Celis