PH debt may reach P13.6 trillion in 2022: lawmaker

Zandro Ochona, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 28 2020 09:43 PM

Skyline of Manila, the country's capital, at night. Ted Aljibe. AFP/File

MANILA - The Philippines' national debt could reach more than P13 trillion in 2022, a lawmaker said Monday.

Sultan Kudarat Rep. Horacio Suansing, sponsor of the budget of the Department of Finance, said before the floor deliberation that the Philippines may have a total P13.6 trillion in debt which is equivalent to 59.9 percent of the country's GDP.

The Philippines had a debt of P9.6 trillion as of August, and House Deputy Minority Leader Carlos Isagani Zarate fear this could hit P10 trillion this year.

“Sa 2022, mas malala pala... because as it is now, the Philippines is bracing for already a much higher debt to GDP ratio this year at 53.91 percent if I am not mistaken," Zarate said.

This is a huge leap from last year's 39.6 percent debt to GDP ratio.

Zarate insists debt payment reprieve from the World Bank and other financial institutions. But Suansing said this could affect the country’s credit rating and could prevent the country from borrowing to fill the budget deficit.

Zarate however pointed out that the Duterte administration will leave the country’s coffer with so much debt when the President's term ends in 2022.

CHINESE LOANS

Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas quizzed Suansing on the exposure of our country’s foreign loan from its exposure to the Chinese capital.

Suansing said the latest loan from China was on June 5, 2020 when $750 million or P37 billion was borrowed “to combat the spread of the pandemic” and relief for those affected.

Suansing added the principal repayments on this loan will be made on May 15, 2032.

Chinese loans for the Build, Build, Build project of the government have reached $250 million. The country's total loans from the superpower amounts to 5 percent of total shareholders of the government securities.

Total foreign loans amount to P479 billion.

“Napakahalaga po na maisapubliko yung mga loan agreements na pinapasok ng pamahalaan sa panahon mg pandemya, kung paano po ito ginagastos yun po ang napakahalaga na malaman ng ating mamamayan," said Brosas.