Gov't saves P17.2B in interest payments in 9 mos.
Quezon City (21 October) -- A STRONGER peso and lower-than-expected interest rates helped the government save P17.2 billion in interest payments in the first nine months of the year, the Bureau of the Treasury said.
National Treasurer Omar Cruz said the government's improving fiscal condition perked up market confidence, thereby pulling down the cost of its maturing foreign and domestic liabilities.
"The market is putting very little premium on our borrowings and is giving us a lot of discount," Cruz said.
Official data showed that the government had allotted P271.7 billion in January to September for interest payments but actual spending amounted to P254.5 billion.
Reduced interest rates on Treasury bills and bonds reduced the cost of government borrowings, and the stronger-than-expected peso brought down the cost of servicing maturing foreign currency-denominated debts.
Under the 2006 fiscal program, the government assumed an exchange rate of P54-P56 to the dollar. The peso, rising in the past several months, touched a rate of 49 to the dollar in September and again this month. (PIA) [top]