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BSP approves lower gov’t foreign borrowings in first quarter of 2024

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The Monetary Board, the policy-making body of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), approved lower government borrowings from foreign lenders in the first quarter of 2024.

The BSP said in a statement the Monetary Board cleared $2.87 billion worth of foreign borrowings in the first quarter, down by 48 percent from $5.56 billion approved a year ago.

“These consist of two project loans aggregating to $0.85 billion, and five program loans aggregating to $2.02 billion,” the BSP said.

It said the two project loans worth $850 million would be spent on infrastructure projects.

The national government’s $2.02-billion foreign borrowings will support policy reforms on healthcare at $910 million, $410 million on digital transformation, $400 million on tax administration and $300 million on inclusive finance development.

Any foreign borrowings to be contracted or guaranteed by the government should have prior approval from the BSP through its Monetary Board under Section 20 Article VII of the 1987 Constitution.

Letter of Instructions No. 158 dated Jan. 21, 1974 requires all foreign borrowing proposals by the national government, government agencies and government financial institutions to be submitted for approval-in-principle by the Monetary Board before commencement of actual negotiations.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said it promotes the judicious use of the resources and ensures that external debt requirements are at manageable levels to support external debt sustainability.

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