Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III has expressed willingness to sit down with all the presidential candidates to discuss how to manage the trillions of pesos in government debt the next presidency will inherit from the Duterte administration.
“We are preparing a package for the incoming administration,” Dominguez said in an interview with CNBC.
“We are ready to brief all presidential candidates and their economic teams and we will present to them ideas on how to handle the increasing debt,” he added.
The Philippine government ended the year 2021 with P11.73 trillion worth of debt, bringing the debt-to-gross domestic product (GDP) ratio, or the amount of debt relative to the size of the economy, to 60.5%, slightly exceeding the internationally accepted sustainable threshold of 60%.
Dominguez, however, said that “we have to realize that the spike in our debt-to-GDP ratio is well-within affordability and well-within our rating peers’ experiences.”
The DOF has previously said that it is working on a fiscal consolidation plan aimed at minimizing the long-term economic damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic-induced recession, which will be implemented by the next government.
Fiscal consolidation refers to government policies intended to reduce deficits and accumulation of debt.
“We have already been preparing our transition documents for the next administration,” Dominguez said. “More importantly, we have a history of orderly and peaceful transfers of power." — VBL, GMA News