Philippine debt at P6.88 trillion in April 2018

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The country's outstanding debt stood at P6.88 trillion as of April, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Treasury (BTr).

The state's debt is P4.8 billion or 0.10% lower than last month's record high. However, it jumped by 7.9% year-on-year.

Domestic debt in April rose by 0.7% to P33.08 billion.

"The increment was due to the P33.08 billion net issuance of government securities tempered by the P0.26 billion effect of the stronger peso," the BTr said.

The peso strengthened from P52.25 to $1 as of end-March to P51.73 as of end-April.

External debt dropped P37.26 billion or 1.5%. External obligations declined due to the downward adjustments in both peso and 3rd currency-denominated debt, which added to the net repayments amounting to P2.15 billion. 

Meanwhile, total guaranteed obligations declined by 1.5% to P494.45 billion. The BTr said this was due to "adjustments in foreign currency guarantees."

Debt-to-GDP ratio rose 42.6% from 2017's 42.1%. The BTr said this increase is "consistent with the front-loading of government borrowings, particularly external financing." 

The debt-to-GDP ratio is a gauge of an economy’s capacity to pay off its debts and shows the proportion of government debt to nominal GDP.

Economic managers project this ratio to decline further to 37.7% by 2022.

Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno earlier said that “a country with debt-to-GDP ratio at 60 percent or lower is considered fiscally responsible.”–

Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.