THE national government’s gross borrowings in the first quarter of this year reached P1.38 trillion, jumping by 44.4 percent compared to last year due to higher domestic borrowings.
Data from the Bureau of the Treasury showed the amount of gross borrowings from January to March this year was higher than P956.72 billion in the same period in 2020.
Gross domestic borrowings surged by 60.7 percent to P1.3 trillion in the first quarter of this year from last year’s P810.03 billion.
The government’s short-term borrowings from Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, amounting to P540 billion, comprised the bulk of this year’s gross domestic borrowings. The government also borrowed P463.32 billion through its sale of Retail Treasury Bonds and Premyo Bonds.
Meanwhile, domestic borrowings from fixed-rate Treasury Bonds hit P199 billion while those from Treasury Bills stood at P99.76 billion in the first three months of 2021.
On the other hand, gross external borrowings from January to March this year fell by 45.8 percent to P79.45 billion from last year’s P146.69 billion.
In the first quarter of this year, program loans cornered 78.6 percent or P62.4 billion of gross external borrowings. The remaining P17 billion came from a project loan.
For March alone, gross borrowings soared by 65.9 percent to P617.3 billion this year from P372.15 billion in the same month a year ago.
Gross borrowings in March grew year-on-year as the government borrowed more from both domestic and external sources.
Broken down, gross domestic borrowings in March this year also climbed by 60.9 percent to P584.12 billion from last year’s 363.1 billion.
External borrowings in the same period, meanwhile, nearly quadrupled to P33.18 billion from only P9.05 billion in March 2020.
The government borrows to meet its spending requirements and to finance its budget deficit.
The country aims to borrow a total of P3.03 trillion this year, roughly the same amount it borrowed in 2020.
The Treasury has yet to release the outstanding debt data report as of the end of the first quarter of this year.
However, the last report showed the national government’s outstanding debt as of end-February this year soared to a new record high of P10.406 trillion as the government continued to borrow more money to respond to the raging Covid-19 pandemic.
Of the total debt stock, 29 percent were sourced externally while 71 percent are domestic borrowings.
Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III earlier said they expect the national government’s debt this year to reach 57 percent of GDP.
As of end-2020, the country’s debt to GDP ratio surged to 54.5 percent—a 14-year-high —coming from a record-low 39.6 percent in the previous year.