Incoming President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has earned the nod of the Philippine business community as he completed filling out the cabinet posts to work for the revival of the economy.
Last week, the president-elect has named key appointments to his economic team that will focus on the continuous recovery of the country post-pandemic. He announced that he was nominating Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin Diokno as the secretary for the Department of Finance. Diokno, he said, will be replaced by former National Economic and Development Authority chief Felipe Medalla as BSP governor.
“As Finance Secretary, I will strive to continue prudently and carefully balancing the need to support economic growth, on one hand, and to maintain fiscal discipline, on the other,” Diokno said in a statement.
and management policies that will support our rebuilding efforts from the pandemic,” she added.
For the Trade and Industry Department, Marcos Jr. Chose former UP President Alfredo Pascual. Pascual is also a development banker and finance expert who served as an advisor to various organizations including the Philippine Institute for Development Studies and the World Health Organization. He is also an independent director for Megawide Construction Corporation and SM Investments Corporation.
The former National Economic and Development Authority chief during President Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino III’s term will also have a comeback to the same post after Marcos Jr. Names Arsenio Balicasan as a member of his cabinet.
“I have also tapped an old friend who’s also formerly in this position, Arsenio Balisacan, who is our former NEDA and I’ve asked him to return to NEDA,” Marcos Jr. Said in a post-elections press briefing. “I’ve worked with him extensively at the time when I was governor. I know he’s very competent, I know his policies are policies that will be for the betterment of our country.”
To complete his economic team, Marcos Jr. also nominated BSP Assistant Governor Amenah Pangandaman as his Budget secretary. Upon accepting the post, Pangandaman said that she will be focusing on the modernization of the budget system and incorporation of sustainability principles in public spending
“As Budget and Management Secretary, I will do my utmost to live up to the trust placed in me by the President-elect and craft responsive budget
“They are all seasoned and competent economic leaders. We believe they would do good in managing our fiscal affairs,” Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) President George Barcelon noted.
“We are confident that this competent roster of technocrats and scholars will help steer the economy towards recovery,” he added.
Then presumptive president Bongbong Marcos Jr. earlier announced that he is choosing his running-mate and incoming Vice President Sara Duterte-Carpio to head the Education Department.
Marcos Jr. also named Manuel Bonoan, chief executive of San Miguel Tollways Corp., as head of the Department of Public Works and Highways. Bonoan pledged to continue the Duterte Administration’s prioritization of infrastructure building.
“We are laying down our initial plans for this administration and it would be to continue the Build, Build, Build projects that have already been started under this administration of President (Rodrigo) Duterte and to finish actually the ongoing projects at the earliest possible time, so they can be utilized immediately," Bonoan said in an interview.
Meanwhile, former MMDA Chairman and Mandaluyong City Mayor Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos was also named as the next head of the Department of Interior and Local Government. He also served as one of the campaign managers of Marcos Jr. Similar to Bonoan, he also said he will be continuing the projects of the Duterte administration and prioritizing peace and order.
The incoming president also tapped former Labor secretary Benny Laguesma and Susan "Toots" Ople to be part of his administration as the heads of the Department of Labor and Employment and Department of Migrant Workers, respectively.
Cavite Congressman Jesus Crispin ‘Boying’ Remulla also accepted the nomination to be the Department of Justice Secretary, while broadcaster Erwin Tulfo will assume the post as the Department of Social Welfare and Development head. IT expert and lawyer John Ivan Uy was also nominated as the next Department of Information and Communications Technology. Prior to this, Uy worked under the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) in 2010 before it was abolished in 2011 and changed into the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).
Also included in President Marcos Jr.'s cabinet are his spokesperson during the campaign, Atty. Vic Rodriguez as the Executive Secretary, Trixie Cruz-Angeles for the Presidential Communications Operations Office, Anton Lagdameo as the special assistant to the President, and Zenaida Angping to head the Presidential Management Staff.