The share of the Philippine government’s debt to the economy as measured by gross domestic product (GDP) narrowed in the first quarter of 2020, data from the Department of Finance (DOF) showed Wednesday.
In his latest Economic Bulletin, Undersecretary and DOF chief economist Gila Beltran said that during the end of the first quarter, the national government debt as a percentage of GDP dropped to 41.8% from 42.0% year-on-year.
A lower debt-to-GDP ratio is generally seen as favorable, as it indicates that the country is able to repay its debts.
The share of foreign debt to the economy also declined to 13.6% from 14.0%, while domestic borrowing as a percentage of GDP slightly increased to 28.2% from 28.0%.
Beltran noted that “prudent debt management” has enabled the government to mobilize substantial resources from borrowings to finance programs to combat coronavirus crisis.
Data from the Bureau of the Treasury showed the national government’s total outstanding debt stood at P8.177 trillion as of end-March, higher than P7.8 trillion last year.
The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) earlier said that the debt-to-GDP ratio could likely hit 47% this year given the increased borrowing to finance efforts against the coronavirus disease 2019.
The administration has since inked loan agreements with several multilateral lenders such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the World Bank (WB). -MDM, GMA News