Debt service bill surges in August

THE national government’s debt servicing surged in August following an increase in amortization charges, data released by the Bureau of Treasury showed.

The government’s debt payments expanded by 176.77 percent to P189.02 billion in August from P68.29 billion in the same month a year ago.

Month on month, debt service payments increased by 193.7 percent from P64.35 billion in July.

Interest payments, likewise, increased by 38.6 percent to P42.66 billion from P30.77 billion in August 2022.

Domestic payments grew by 44.8 percent in August 2023 to P29.53 billion from the P20.39 billion recorded in the same month last year.

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This was composed of treasury bills (P2.76 billion), fixed-rate treasury bonds (P17.85 billion) and retail treasury bonds (P8.88 billion).

Meanwhile, foreign interest payments climbed to P13.13 billion by 26.4 percent from P10.83 billion in August 2022.

Amortization costs, the main driver of the surge, escalated to P146.35 billion in August of this year from P37.52 billion in the same period a year ago.

Domestic amortization, which covered almost all the total amortization costs, rose to P141.61 billion from the P22.77 billion recorded in August 2022.

Foreign amortization declined to P4.74 billion from P14.74 billion in August last year.

Year to date, the total debt service bill grew by 70.06 percent to P1.16 trillion from the P682.85 billion recorded in the same period last year.

Total interest payments grew by P388.63 billion in the first eight months of the year while the amortization surged to P772.63 billion.

In August, the national government’s outstanding debt hit a new record high of P14.35 trillion.

Some P105.28 billion was added to the debt tally from a month earlier due to peso depreciation.

As of end-August, the government’s outstanding debt was P930.72 billion higher than at the start of 2023. Counted from August last year, meanwhile, the total increased by P1.33 trillion.

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