Bongbong Marcos needs $4.6B to service PH foreign debt next year

The Marcos government needs $4.62 billion next year to service the country’s foreign debt.

In its filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the administration of President Bongbong Marcos said that of the total, $2.39 billion would be for interest payments alone, higher than the $2.23 billion it would need for principal repayments.

The data used were from the Bureau of the Treasury and the Department of Finance based on the projections on the government’s debt at the end of December 31, 2021 and computed using exchange rates as of July 1 this year when the peso fell below P55.

At the start of the year, the peso was barely below P51 against the dollar.

The Duterte administration had placed this year’s direct external debt service requirement at only $4.05 billion, with interest payments only amounting to $1.72 billion and principal repayments of $2.33 billion.

This year, the government’s foreign debt servicing requirement is at $4.368 billion. Even then, the country’s balance of payments deficit is still projected at a whopping $8.4 billion because of the widening trade deficit with the sustained acceleration of imports on the back of high international commodity prices. (Eileen Mencias)