MANILA -- The budget deficit will hit 3 percent of gross domestic product this year, meeting the government's target for the "first time in recent history," Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said Wednesday.
President Rodrigo Duterte is "moving ahead" with its spending schedule, as he pursues his "Build, Build, Build" infrastructure program, Dominguez told a business forum in Davao City.
Infrastructure spending in the January to September period was at P5.71 billion, 46 percent higher year-on-year and 65.3 percent higher than the last full year of the Aquino government, Dominguez said.
The "bad old days of underspending, which the critics faulted the government for, is now over," he said.
"We are now being faulted for enlarging the deficit, when in fact, we said our deficit will be at 3 percent of GDP," he said. The country is "on target this year, first time ever in recent history," he said.
Dominguez said he welcomed Congress' plan to call a hearing on "perceived underspending."