The government manages its debts, the borrowings of the first quarter fall by 22%
Gross national government borrowing fell by more than a fifth to 1,080 billion pesos in the first quarter, due to lower financing needs even as the COVID-19 pandemic dragged on.
The latest data from the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) showed external and domestic borrowing from January to March fell 22% from 1.38 trillion pesos in the same three-month period last year.
Gross borrowing at the end of March from local creditors, mainly through the issuance of treasury bills and bonds, fell to 849.1 billion pesos from over 1.3 trillion pesos a year ago. year.
The decline in domestic borrowing also reflects the 300 billion pesos lower amount granted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to the national government this year, compared to the 540 billion pesos of short-term debt in 2021.
As a reminder, the Ministry of Finance (DOF) and the BTr had asked the central bank for lower liquidity support amid improving growth prospects following the reopening of more economic sectors, the official said. Secretary of Finance Carlos Dominguez III. This loan will be fully repaid to the BSP before the departure of President Duterte in mid-2022, according to Dominguez.
During the first three months, a net amount of 139.5 billion pesos of treasury bills matured, which reduced the stock of local debt, which also included the 457.8 billion pesos of five-year retail treasury bonds (RTBs) issued in March, plus 230 pesos. 9 billion in long-dated, fixed-rate Treasury bonds.
But gross foreign borrowing jumped to over 233 billion pesos in March, from just 79.4 billion pesos a year ago, as the Philippines raised 117.3 billion pesos from global debt-denominated securities. US dollars, including its very first “green” bonds, in March. . By contrast, the Philippines only started raising funds in the offshore trading market in early April last year, through Eurobonds.
DOF and BTr officials had said the government would borrow a total of 2.2 trillion pesos this year, of which three-quarters or 1.65 trillion pesos would come from the domestic debt market. Borrowing this year will be less than gross financing amounting to 2.58 trillion pesos last year, which was also down from the record high of 2.74 trillion pesos in 2020, when the government is eager to bolster its war chest against inflicted health and socio-economic crises. by COVID-19.
—BEN O. DE VERA INQ
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