Duterte administration leaves ₱12.79T outstanding debt in end-June

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 5) — Rodrigo Duterte ended his presidency in June with ₱12.79 trillion in outstanding national government debt, according to Bureau of the Treasury figures released Friday.

The tally, which represents a 14.6% annual increase, surpassed the ₱12.76-trillion record previously set in April and the ₱12.5-trillion figure in May.

It also reflects a doubling of the government's P5.95 trillion outstanding loans when Duterte started his six-year term at the end of June 2016.

Of the latest figure, 68.5% or ₱8.76 trillion of the borrowings were made domestically.

"For the month, the increase in domestic debt was due to the net issuance of ₱96.30 billion in government securities and the ₱5.36 billion impact of local currency depreciation against the US dollar," said the Treasury.

The bureau added that foreign loans accounted for 31.5% or ₱4.02 trillion of the total debt.

"For June 2022, the increment in external debt was attributed to the impact of local currency depreciation against the USD amounting to ₱186.94 billion and the net availment of external financing amounting to ₱43.18 billion; offsetting the ₱35.72 billion effect of net depreciation against the US dollar on third-currency denominated obligations," it explained.

The former chief executive's administration embarked on an expansionary fiscal policy to help fund its ambitious flagship infrastructure program Build, Build, Build. It further ramped up borrowings amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which impacted the government's revenue collection abilities as tight restrictions dampened economic activity.

During a briefing after the first State of the Nation Address of President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno assured "we do not have to borrow as much as we did during the crisis years" as the government focuses on improving tax administration to raise collections.