Philippine debt hits P4.42-T as of end-Oct

Posted at 01/18/10 6:53 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The national government's outstanding debt inched up as of October due to higher local borrowings and a weaker peso, the Bureau of Treasury said Monday.

Total debt reached P4.42 trillion for the first 10 months of 2009, up 2% from the P4.34 trillion recorded as of end-September. Local debt, which accounted for 55% of the total, was slightly up at P2.45 trillion.

The government has secured a large portion of its foreign debt needs this year after it sold $1.5 billion worth of dollar bonds early this month. It was the first sovereign debt issue in Asia for 2010.

The government also plans to use part of a $1-billion global bond sale in October to finance its 2010 budget deficit, which is seen to reach P293 billion or 3.5% of gross domestic product (GDP).

Earlier, the government said the country's budget shortfall likely reached P290 billion or 3.7% of GDP last year. With a report from Reuters