GG debt rose 5.9% in 2019

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    The country’s general government (GG) debt rose by 5.9 percent as of end-2019, but fell as a percent of gross domestic product (GDP) from the previous year’s level, data released by the Department of Finance (DOF) showed.

    The DOF said in a statement over the weekend the GG debt was at P6.65 trillion by end-December 2019, an increase from the 2018 level of P6.28 trillion.

    However, as a percentage of GDP, the country’s consolidated GG debt stood at 34.1 percent by end-December 2019, down 0.3 percentage points from the year-ago level of 34.4 percent.

    The DOF said the improved GG debt-to-GDP ratio was partly a result of the decline in the national government (NG) debt-to-GDP ratio, from 39.9 percent in end-December 2018 to 39.6 percent in the same period last year.

    “The combination of prudent cash and debt management and steady economic growth has continuously brought down the NG debt-to-GDP ratio in recent years,” the DOF said.

    Meanwhile, the NG debt net of the bond sinking fund (BSF) was at P7.17 trillion last year, an increase of 5.6 percent from the 2018 level of P6.79 trillion.

    Both domestic and external debt increased by 6.6 and 3.7 percent, respectively, as compared to their 2018 levels.

    Local government debt increased by 13.8 percent compared to the previous year’s level.

    Social security institutions (SSIs) such as the Government Service Insurance System and Social Security System, while not contributing to the debt stock, increased their holdings of government securities by 3.1 percent compared to the 2018 level.

    Of the total GG debt stock, 61.8 percent or P4.11 trillion were domestic borrowings and 38.2 percent or P2.54 trillion were external borrowings.

    GG debt includes outstanding debt of the NG, SSIs and local government units minus the intra-sector debt holding of government securities, including those under the BSF.