Gov't debt down 1.9% at end-July
Quezon City (11 October) -- GOVERNMENT debt fell 1.9 percent at the end of July from June due to a stronger peso and credit repayments, the Bureau of Treasury said.
Total debt as of end-July was P3.924 trillion ($78.4 billion), down P75 billion from end-June. Fifty-five percent of the total debt was owed to local creditors and the balance to foreign lenders.
"The appreciation of the peso against the US dollar and the net repayments of foreign and domestic obligations in July contributed to the decline in debt," National Treasurer Omar Cruz said in a statement.
The Philippines aims to narrow its ratio of debt to gross domestic product to 62 percent next year and 56 percent in 2008 from an expected 68 percent this year.
The government's debt-to-GDP ratio fell to 72 percent last year from 79 percent in 2004, helped by fiscal reforms that have included a broader and higher national sales tax.
About a third of the government's budget is used to pay interest on its debts. (PIA) [top]