Gov’t interest payments up 13% in Jan-Oct

Rappler.com
The share of interest payments in total expenditures continues to drop though

UP IN 2012. Interest payments for the year's first 10 months have increased. Photo by AFP

MANILA, Philippines – The government’s debt interest payments from January to October reached P266.7 billion, an increase of 13.4% from last year’s P235.099 billion.

Budget and Management Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad said the rise in interest payments was due to “higher volume of government securities issued.”

He said though that the share of interest payments in total government disbursements decreased to 19.5% from 19.7% in 2011.

The government has been trying to manage its debts and shore up revenues so it could spend more on vital social services.

In the first 10 months, government’s total expenditures – minus the interest payments – rose 14.8% to P1.102 trillion from P960.179 billion in 2011.

Despite accelerated spending, the government’s budget deficit remained well below the full-year 2012 ceiling of P279 billion, as government revenues also improved.

Finance authorities said the government’s fiscal space remains wide, giving it more room to increase spending. – Rappler.com