Duterte thankful for loans extended to PH  

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (File photo)

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said he is grateful that the Philippines could still apply for loans despite the economic situation in the country amid the prevailing coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

"Mabuti naman 'yung mga loan natin (It's good to know that we can still apply for loans). Until now, the international financial world continues to have a support [for us])," Duterte said in a speech delivered in Puerto Princesa City.

Duterte made the remarks, as he admitted that before serving the country as the chief executive, he had "no idea of the economic picture of the country."

He said it is "good" to know that the Philippines could still borrow money, as it would help the country recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Suportado sa’tin (They are supporting us) despite our convoluted economic problems now. Mayroon pa rin silang tiwala. So, maganda ‘yan (They still have trust in us. That's good)," Duterte said.

The Philippines' debt grew to PHP11.92 trillion as of end-September, the Bureau of Treasury (BTr) reported in October.

The country's latest outstanding debt stock climbed by 2.4 percent from PHP11.64 trillion in August and 27 percent from PHP9.37 trillion in 2020.

Around 70.4 percent were sourced from domestic creditors, while the remaining 29.6 percent were held by foreign banks.

The BTr said the month-on-month increase was "due to net issuance of both domestic and external debt and peso depreciation against the US dollar."

The Philippine government plans to borrow PHP3.07 trillion this year, based on the Department of Budget and Management's Budget of Expenditures and Sources of Financing for fiscal year 2021.

The PHP3.07-trillion programmed gross borrowings for this year were meant to cover a budget deficit that is expected to expand to 9.3 percent of gross domestic product at PHP1.85 trillion.

Also in October, the BTr reported the 17.5-percent year-on-year jump in government expenditures last September to PHP412.4 billion, higher than the 8.96-percent rise in revenues to PHP231.4 billion.

This resulted in the 30.6-percent jump in the budget gap to PHP180.9 billion, bringing the first nine month's budget deficit to PHP1.139 billion, lower than the PHP1.425-trillion programmed for the period. (PNA)

Source: Business Diary Philippines

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