NG debt servicing rises in September

THE national government’s (NG) debt servicing rose in September following an increase in amortization charges, data released by the Bureau of Treasury showed.

Debt payments grew by 15.46 percent to P238.99 billion from P206.99 billion a year earlier while month on month rose 26.43 percent from P189.02 billion in August.

Interest payments increased by 19.28 percent to P71.448 billion from the year-ago P59.897 billion, while amortizations rose by 13.9 percent P167.55 billion from P147.09 billion.

Domestic interest payments, in particular, grew to P55.892 billion from the P47.715 billion a year earlier, comprised of payments for Treasury bills (P1.670 billion), fixed-rate T-bonds (P28.602 billion) and retail T- bonds (P25.620 billion).

Foreign interest payments, meanwhile, climbed to P15.556 billion from P12.182 billion.

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As for amortization costs, domestic amortizations rose to P148.88 billion from P128.32 billion while foreign amortizations fell P18.668 billion from P18.772 billion.

Year to date, the total debt service bill grew by 57.36 percent to P1.4 trillion from the P889.84 billion recorded a year earlier.

In September, outstanding NG debt eased to P14.27 trillion, down P80.9 billion or 0.6 percent from a month earlier and primarily attributed by the Treasury to net repayments of both domestic and external obligations.

The tally was P849.81 billion higher from the start of 2023. As of September last year, it was up by P751.57 trillion.

The country’s debt-to-gross domestic product (GDP) ratio, meanwhile, has improved following a stronger-than-expected third-quarter growth print.

The NG debt-to-GDP ratio — a measure of debt sustainability — improved to 60.2 percent from 61.0 percent.

The deficit-to-GDP ratio, meanwhile, rose to 5.71 percent from 4.77 percent.