’22 borrowings dip 16% to ₧2.16T


THE Philippines’s total borrowings last year declined by 16.12 percent on an annual basis to a three-year low of P2.163 trillion as the national government had a hard time borrowing from the domestic debt market due to rising interest rates.

Latest Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) data showed the national government’s total borrowings last year was P415.732 billion higher than the P2.579 trillion recorded in 2021.

Furthermore, the national government’s borrowings last year was P47 billion below its P2.21-trillion target amount, based on government data.

The target borrowings were anchored on a 75:25 mix, wherein three-fourths of the amount would come from the local debt market while the remaining quarter would be borrowed externally.

Treasury data showed that both the country’s domestic and foreign borrowings declined on a year-on-year basis, but it was the former that posted a double-digit decline.

The national government borrowed P1.643 trillion from the domestic debt market through the sale of Treasury bills and Treasury bonds, which was 18.26 percent lower than the P2.010 trillion it borrowed in 2021.

The national government’s gross domestic borrowings last year comprised P1.194 trillion worth of fixed rate (net) T-bonds, P834.479-billion retail T-bonds (RTBs), and a net availment of T-bills amounting to P385.782 billion.

The latter part of 2022 saw the national government finding a difficult time awarding the sale of T-bills and T-bonds as investors sought higher yield amid a higher interest rate environment.

From rates as low as 0.903 percent to a high of 1.473 percent in January 2022, the auction of T-bills had rates ranging between 4.089 percent and 5.102 percent by end of last year.

The net availment of T-bills last year widened to P385.782 billion from P153.336 billion in 2021, indicating that the government had to pay more mature short-term debt papers than the amount it was able to borrow through the government security.

Net T-bonds issued by the Treasury last year, meanwhile, declined by 5.16 percent to P1.194 billion from P1.259 billion in 2021.

Treasury data showed that RTBs issued by the national government last year increased by 1.35 percent year-on-year to P834.479 billion from P823.347 billion.

In terms of external borrowings, the national government borrowed a total of P520.091 billion, 8.54 percent lower than the P568.668 billion recorded in 2021, Treasury data showed.

Last year’s external borrowings were composed of P234.259 billion global bond issuance, P120.676 billion project loan, P136.604 billion program loan, and P28.552 billion Samurai bonds.