Philippine­s’ debt now at P9 trillion

The Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper - - Front Page -

The Philippine­s’ outstandin­g debt soared past P9 trillion (roughly 183.9 billion U.S. dollars) as of end-june as the Duterte

government borrowed more to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the Bureau of Treasury.

It said the total debt stock reached P9.05 trillion, an increase of P163.3 billion pesos or 1.8 percent compared

to May due to the net issuance and availment of domestic and external financing.

Of the total outstandin­g debt stock, the Bureau of Treasury said 32 percent were sourced externally while 68 percent are domestic debt.

Data from the Department of Finance (DOF) also showed that from January to June, the government has availed program loans worth P216.3 billion (roughly 4.4 billion U.S. dollars) for coronaviru­s response, with P130.5 billion (roughly 2.6 billion U.S. dollars) from the Asian Developmen­t Bank and P85.8 billion (roughly 1.74 billion U.S. dollars) from the World Bank.

The Philippine­s’ debt-to-gdp ratio before the COVID-19 strike was at only 39.6 percent in 2019.

Ndiame Diop, the newly designated country director of the World Bank for Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippine­s and Thailand, said that with the Philippine­s’ debt of equivalent to just 40% the size of its economy at the time when the coronaviru­s pandemic struck, the government has enough fiscal space to address the emergency triggered by the health crisis.

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