Gov’t debt breaches P6-T mark

By: Ben O. de Vera - Philippine Daily Inquirer | September 19,2020 - 12:01 PM

Following the issuance of a record amount of retail treasury bonds (RTBs) to small investors despite a pandemic, the outstanding securities sold by the government in the local market climbed to a new high of P6.4 trillion in August.

The latest Bureau of the Treasury data Friday showed that the outstanding treasury bills and bonds as of end-August exceeded the P6-trillion mark for the first time and surpassed the P5.95 trillion in July.

Outstanding treasury bills amounted to P871.5 billion, up from P833.4 billion in July, while treasury bonds rose to P5.54 trillion from P5.12 trillion a month ago.

In particular, the outstanding RTBs jumped to P2.19 trillion as of August from P1.7 trillion last July.

The Treasury last month settled the all-time high P516.3 billion raised from the sale of five-year RTBs at a coupon rate of 2.625 percent, of which P488.5 billion were new money from fresh sales while the rest came from swaps with maturing IOUs.

Among the outstanding bills last August, P30 billion were from the auction of the 35-day, which the Treasury stopped selling in September; P138 billion from the benchmark 91-day; P197.9 billion from 182-day, and P505.6 billion from 364-day.

For outstanding bonds, three-year debt paper had a face amount of P153.5 billion; five-year IOUs, P316.8 billion; seven-year securities, P594.2 billion, and 10-year treasuries, P593.3 billion.

The outstanding amount for 10-year agrarian reform bonds was P8.4 billion; 20-year IOUs, P420.3 billion, and 25-year debt paper, P235.9 billion.

As for the $6.582million Philippine par bonds redenominated into 28.5 years, the outstanding amount was P97.1 million.

Also outstanding were P939.3 billion in benchmark bonds; P50 billion in 25-year CB-BoL bonds; P24.2-billion onshore dollar bonds, and P4.9 billion in “premyo” bonds.

The government had programmed gross borrowings of P3 trillion this year, of which domestic mainly from the Treasury auctions of bills and bonds would amount to P2.22 trillion, while external would reach P785.6 billion—set to be the largest-ever foreign borrowings for a single year in order to augment funding for COVID-19 response amid weak revenues.

For 2020, the Treasury will issue a net of P48 billion in short-dated bills, with a gross of P480 billion to be floated while P432 billion worth will also mature within the year.

The Treasury will likewise sell P1.67 trillion in fixed-rate bonds on top of a programmed P500 billion in short-term borrowings from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas through the repo facility and advances.

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III last Tuesday noted that year-to-date tax collection as of August remained 12-percent below a year ago.

The take of the bureaus of Customs (BOC) and of Internal Revenue (BIR) from January to August totaled P1.64 trillion, above the downscaled target of P1.53 trillion but below the P1.86 in actual collections of the country’s two biggest tax-collection agencies during the first eight months of last year.

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