NG debt payments fall 10% in Jan-Sept.

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    The national government’s debt payments in the first nine months of the year declined by 10.04 percent as amortization fell from its year ago level.

    According to data posted in the Bureau of the Treasury’s website, the government spent P558.22 billion for its domestic and international debts as of end-September, lower than the P620.54 billion recorded a year ago.

    Principal payments fell by 24.26 percent to P264.48 billion from the P349.21 billion paid in the same period a year ago.

    Of the total amortization made during the period, P145.9 billion was used to pay local lenders while P118.58 billion was spent to settle foreign obligations.

    Interest payments for the first nine months of the year, on the other hand, totaled to P293.74 billion, 8.26 percent higher than the P271.33 billion paid out as of the same period last year.

    Of the amount, P196.71 billion was paid to domestic creditors while P97.03 billion was for international debt.

    Interest payments as of end-September however fell below program by 7.6 percent, with the program at P317.8 billion for the period.

    “Savings on interest payments amounted to P23.8 billion or 17.3 percent of the program (in the third quarter alone) brought largely by the combined impact of bond maturities, discounts, reissuances of fixed-rate treasury bonds at a premium, and exchange rate fluctuations,” the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said in a separate document posted on its website.

    Meanwhile, September debt payments went up by 26.77 percent to P48.92 billion from P38.59 billion a year ago.

    This was due to the increase in interest payments, while amortization slightly fell during the period.

    Interest payments rose 31.89 percent, from P32.68 billion to P43.09 billion.

    “Interest payments (was) higher year-on-year due to coupon payments for reissued bonds and timing of payments for the 25-year fixed rate treasury bonds,” the DBM said.

    Principal payments on the other hand amounted to P5.83 billion, 1.5 percent down from the year ago level of P5.92 billion.