December 22, 2023
MANILA -The Marcos administration is planning to raise P585 billion in fresh local borrowings in the first quarter of 2024 to help bridge its budget deficit and fund government expenditures.
The government will sell Treasury bills (T-bills) amounting to P195 billion and Treasury bonds (T-bonds) worth P390 billion in the first three months of 2024, the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) said Wednesday.
Broken down, the BTr will borrow P75 billion via T-bills in January, with five auctions scheduled for the month. In February, the government lined up four T-bills auctions in hopes of raising P60 billion in short-term borrowings.
It will close the first quarter with four more T-bills offerings in March to borrow an additional P60 billion from local lenders.
Meanwhile, the BTr will hold four offerings of T-bonds in January to raise P120 billion worth of longer-dated debt papers. The government is planning to borrow a bigger P150 billion through T-bonds in February, with five auctions scheduled for that month.
In March, the BTr will conduct four T-bonds issuances with a total size of P120 billion.
The Marcos administration has set a budget deficit limit of P1.4 trillion in 2024, or equivalent to 5.1 percent of gross domestic product. This is smaller compared to the P1.5 trillion cap for this year.
To help bridge the fiscal gap, the government would sell T-bills amounting to P672.1 billion and T-bonds worth P1.8 trillion next year, data from the budget department showed.
Excluding payments for maturing T-bills, gross domestic borrowings for 2024 are programmed at P1.85 trillion, higher than this year’s P1.65 trillion.
Local debts hold the biggest share in the state’s total debt pile, as officials try to minimize external borrowings to avoid foreign exchange risks.