Gov’t local, foreign borrowings up 23.4%
MANILA, Philippines—The government has reported a 23.4-percent increase in its borrowings in the first four months of the year, as expenditures rose due to economic pump-priming efforts.
Data from the Bureau of the Treasury showed that from January to April, the government borrowed P246.4 billion from here and abroad, higher than the P199.74 billion incurred in the same months in 2008.
As of end-April, the government has availed itself of P100.73 billion in foreign loans or 55.4 percent higher than the P39.44 billion contracted a year ago.
The increase was mainly due to the sale of $1.5 billion or P71.386 billion worth of global bonds in January, as well as the tapping of project loans from the Asian Development Bank, International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation.
Also, the government borrowed from domestic lenders P145.65 billion, which was 9 percent lower than the P160.23 billion contracted in the first four months last year.
The decrease was partly because of a debt swap implemented in January, which involved a total of P136.6 billion.
Conducted through the government’s debt consolidation program, the swap involved maturing five- and seven-year benchmark bonds that were traded for issues of the same tenors.
Further, the government paid in the first four months of the year a total of P62.56 billion of foreign loans and P135.46 billion of domestic obligations.
This brought the country’s end-April net borrowings to P48.36 billion or 332 percent higher than the P11.2 billion a year ago.
In April alone, the government borrowed P5.8 billion from foreign lenders, a decrease of 72 percent from P17.08 billion in the same month last year.
Borrowings from local lenders amounted to P26.62 billion or 11.9 percent lower than the P30.22 billion a year ago. This resulted in a net borrowing of P18.87 billion in April, a reversal of a net payment of P1.3 billion in the same month last year.