PHL ‘22 debt payments reach P1.293T—report


The country’s debt service payments last year amounted to P1.293 trillion, the highest in 36 years, based on data from the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr).

The BTr data indicated the country’s debt service payments in 2022 were 7.4 percent higher than the P1.2 trillion posted in 2021.

Prior to 2022, the largest debt payment was recorded in 2021 while the lowest was posted in 1986, when it reached P34.813 billion, based on existing government data.

However, the debt service payments last year were slightly lower than the initial target of the government. For 2022, the government programmed debt payments to reach P1.298 trillion.

BTr data indicated that amortizations rose 2.02 percent to P790.32 billion in 2022 from P774.64 billion in 2021.

However, the data showed that interest rates posted a 17.1 percent growth to P502.858 billion in 2022 from P429.432 billion in 2021.

In December, debt service payments soared 331.67 percent to P302.125 billion in 2022 from the P69.989 billion posted in 2021.

The surge in debt service payments was driven by the 505.97 percent growth in amortization payments which reached P258.52 billion in 2022 from P42.662 billion in 2021.

Interest payments also rose 59.57 percent to P43.605 billion in December 2022 from P27.327 billion in December 2021.

The BTr earlier reported that the Philippines ended 2022 with an outstanding debt of P13.418 trillion, 14.4 percent higher than the P11.728 trillion recorded in end-2021.

Historical Treasury data showed that it was the highest end-December outstanding debt recorded by the Philippines.

However, the country’s outstanding obligation at the end of last year was below the national government’s (NG) projected debt stock level of P13.43 trillion for 2022.

“For December, the [national government’s] total outstanding debt decreased by P225.31 billion or 1.7 percent from the end-November 2022 level primarily due to the effect of local currency appreciation and the net redemption of domestic government securities,” the Treasury said in a statement.

The Treasury said the NG’s debt-to-GDP ratio eased to 60.9 percent in end-December 2022 from 63.7 percent in end-September 2022. Furthermore, the country’s end-2022 debt-to-GDP ratio was lower than the 61.8 percent target under the NG’s medium-term fiscal framework (MTFF).

However, the end-2022 debt-to-GDP ratio was slightly higher than the 60.4 percent recorded ratio in end-2021, based on historical Treasury data.

“This reflects the consistent drive to bolster debt sustainability through prudent cash and debt management backed by resurgent economic growth,” the Treasury said.

Under the MTFF, the NG aims to bring down the debt-to-GDP ratio to less than 60 percent by 2025 and further down to 51.1 percent by 2028.