PH borrowings will be put to good use: Palace

General

Malacañang on Thursday assured that the country’s borrowings will be put to good use, particularly to fund the country’s fight against the prevailing coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

Acting presidential spokesperson and Communications Secretary Martin Andanar made this remark after the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) reported that state liabilities reached PHP12.68 trillion in March, up 4.8 percent or PHP586.29 billion higher than the PHP12.09 trillion recorded as of the end of February.

“We assure our people that the country’s borrowings, which put the county’s outstanding debt to more than PHP12-T, as end of March 2022, shall be put into good use and utilized effectively and efficiently,” Andanar said.

He said borrowings are necessary to drive economic growth and ensure immediate funding for emergencies such as the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Recent borrowings would be for our Covid-19 response and recovery and resiliency efforts. We need to sustain our country’s long-term socioeconomic growth and development,” he added.

Last month, Duterte justified the country’s debt increase noting that the government has been forced to borrow money due to a lack of fund sources.

He said there was nothing wrong with borrowing money, so long as there are no irregularities in government spending.

Duterte even enjoined local governments to borrow money but reminded them to make sure that would not be used for corrupt activities.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said the volume of borrowings accumulated due to the pandemic is understandable given the need to boost financing amidst the drop in revenues because of the lockdowns.

He said the next administration will have to design policies and stick to very strict fiscal discipline to grow out of debt.

Data from the BTr showed that the government’s running debt was 69.9 percent sourced locally and 30.1 percent sourced externally.

The BTr said the significant jump in total debt portfolio was primarily driven by higher borrowings, through the sale of government securities, to both local and foreign creditors.

Domestic debt reached PHP8.87 trillion, higher by PHP455.45 billion or 5.4 percent higher compared to February.

Meanwhile, external debt was at PHP3.81 trillion, higher by PHP130.84 billion or 3.6 percent higher compared to the previous month, the BTr said.

Source: Philippines News Agency

Source: Philippines News Agency

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