Diokno: Phl debt ‘manageable’

The Philippines’ debt-to-GDP ratio — 63.7 percent in the third quarter from 62.1 percent in the second quarter – remains ‘very manageable’ compared to other nations ‘whose debt-to-GDP ratio is 200 percent or 100 percent’

Finance Secretary Ben Diokno (Photograph courtesy of Department of Finance)

Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno on Wednesday, 23 November, reassured lawmakers that the country’s debt remains manageable.

During a Commission on Appointments hearing, Diokno said the country’s outstanding debt – which ballooned to ₱13.517 trillion as of September – should “not be a cause for concern.”

According to data released by the Bureau of the Treasury earlier this month, the country’s debt-to-GDP ratio increased to 63.7 percent in the third quarter from 62.1 percent in the second quarter.

Diokno said the debt-to-GDP ratio remains “very manageable” compared to other nations “whose debt-to-GDP ratio is 200 percent or 100 percent.”

He also mentioned that the country’s debt-to-gross domestic product ratio was “very low” at less than 40 percent before the pandemic.

However, the Finance chief attributed the higher debt-to-GDP ratio to the government’s efforts to strengthen its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including purchasing vaccines and improving the country’s healthcare system: “Although we came from a very low debt-to-GDP ratio of less than 40 percent before the pandemic, it went up to around 62 percent because of the pandemic, because we have to buy the vaccines, we have to beef our health services, etcetera.”

 


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