End-June debt payments up 42%

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    The national government’s debt payments in the first semester rose by 42 percent as amortization significantly increased during the period.

    According to data posted by the Bureau of the Treasury on its website, the government spent P547.35 billion for its domestic and international debts in January to June.

    Government data showed this is higher than the P385.25 billion paid out in the same period in 2019.

    Principal payments posted an increase of 75.29 percent, to P359.67 billion from the P205.18 billion paid out in the same period a year ago.

    Of the total amortization made during the period, P246.21 billion was used to pay local lenders while P113.46 billion was spent to settle foreign obligations.

    Interest payments as of June totaled to P187.68 billion, 4.22 percent higher than the P180.07 billion paid out as of the same period a year ago.

    Of the said amount, P134.49 billion was paid to domestic creditors while P53.18 billion was for international debt.

    In June alone, debt payments fell by 58.97 percent to P34.39 billion from P83.81 billion a year ago, as both amortization and interest payments went down for the month.

    Principal payments stood at P6.83 billion, posting an 87.52 percent decline year-on-year, while interest payments dropped 5.28 percent to P27.56 billion.

    The Bureau of Treausry (BTr) earlier reported that the national government’s outstanding debt has breached the P9 trillion mark in June, as the government borrowed more to support its coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) response.

    The BTr said the outstanding debt level has reached P9.05 trillion, jumping 15.1 percent from the end-June 2019 level of P7.87trillion.

    The government had to increase borrowings amid the immediate need to fund measures to address COVID-19, while revenue collections weakened due to quarantine measures which limited economic activity.