MANILA, Philippines– The Philippine government’s debt stood at P12.79 trillion in end-June, the last month in office of former president Rodrigo Duterte, data from the Bureau of the Treasury showed on Friday, August 5.
The end-June figure is higher by 2.4% or P296.057 billion more than the P12.5 trillion debt in May. On a year-on-year basis, it is higher by 14.6% compared to the P11.16 trillion debt pile in end-June 2021.
Duterte’s borrowings were accrued mostly during the COVID-19 pandemic to provide cash aid while maintaining high infrastructure spending.
When late former president Benigno Aquino III left office in June 2016, the country’s national debt amounted to P5.9 trillion. This means that Duterte’s net addition to the national debt amounted to P6.89 trillion.
Of the total debt stock, 68.5% were sourced locally while 31.5% were from foreign sources.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr’s economic team is aiming to cut the country’s debt-to-gross domestic product ratio to less than 60% by 2025 from the current 63.5%.
Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno is adhering to most recommendations of his predecessor, Carlos Dominguez III, on a fiscal consolidation plan, which aims to raise an average of P284 billion annually.
The fiscal consolidation plan includes new taxes, particularly for digital payments, deferring personal income tax deductions, as well as expanding the value-added tax base. – Rappler.com