MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines ended 2021 with debt amounting to P11.7 trillion, latest data from the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) showed.
The latest figure is almost P2 trillion or 19.7% more than the P9.8 trillion recorded by the end of 2020.
The debt-to-gross domestic product (GDP) ratio stood at 60.5%, higher than the 54.6% in 2020. The BTr said this is “still within the accepted sustainable threshold as the economy continues to recover from the effects of the pandemic.”
Debt sourced domestically amounted to P8.17 trillion, 22% higher than the end-2020 level, but it is in line with the government’s borrowing program.
Meanwhile, external debt grew 14.8% to P3.56 trillion.
The Philippines has tested a debt-to-GDP ratio beyond 60%, as revenues fell amid the expensive demands of the pandemic. (READ: [ANALYSIS] Debt is rising fast, but worry more about Duterte’s spending)
Experts earlier noted that the swelling of financial obligations will be among the first issues the next president will face.
President Rodrigo Duterte’s economic managers project that the ratio will only fall below 60% by 2025, halfway through the next president’s term.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III earlier said the Philippine economy will need to grow at least 6% per year to bring down the debt level to around 40% of GDP. – Rappler.com