There is now a clear picture as who are in Pres-elect Marcos’ economic team. Let us learn who they are.
Ex-Congressman Antonio Lagdameo, Special Assistant to the President.
For me this guy is the real alter ego of Pres Marcos Jr. No, it will not be Atty. Rodriguez, the Executive Secretary. The Pres-elect said it so. He wants to retain the Duterte operating framework of “Bong Go model” with Anton Lagdameo by his side as Special Assistant to the President.
Other than being the husband of Dawn Zulueta, this guy is a heavy hitter. He earned a Master’s Degree from Wharton School of Economics in Pennsylvania, USA. And he practiced banking in Wall Street before coming home to become a politician.
He served in Congress as Representative of Davao del Norte. It is not a stretch to assume he understands the workings of economics and the intricate process of governance.
He has sponsored laws and has listened to countless lectures on national development. The fact that he had been low key and under the radar about personal controversies all these years while he served in Congress, speak so much about his integrity. I believe, he will be the Chief Architect of Pres-elect Marcos’ economic agenda.
Benjamin Diokno, Secretary of Finance.
He was a professor of economics in UP Diliman before President Estrada chose him to be is Budget Secretary in 1998.
President Duterte brought him back to be his Secretary of Budget and transferred him to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas as Governor. He was at the helm when our budget deficit ballooned in 2017 because of mindless and uncontrolled government expenses.
If anything, those policies show he acquiesce to any policy proposal even if they are detrimental to the overall health of the economy.
In the Department of Finance, his immediate work is to find stability to the credit viability of the Philippine economy. In contrast to his deficit budgets in three different administrations, he must reign in the yawning debt stock of the Philippine economy, now at Php12.6 trillion, a whopping 63% of our GDP.
In simple terms, he must make sure government tax collection will grow to finance the debt service by either efficient collection or by enacting new tax measures or a combination of both. Surely, this is the toughest job in the incoming administration.
Arsenio M. Balisacan, Secretary for Economic Planning (Secretary General of the NEDA).
This position is not well understood by the public. The NEDA is the backburner of government economic plans. They gestate all kinds of economic program – major infrastructures, bureaucratic reforms to enhance efficiency, major educational reforms to respond to contemporary market needs, and financial restructuring.
The NEDA is like the sifter of sound government programs to eradicate poverty and alleviate our economic lot. In a way, their ranks are the brightest of government employees.
It is when the President dictates them that they become useless. Arsenio Balisacan proved his mettle to do this during the PNoy administration.
Secretary Neri of GMA’s administration was the worst. He allowed politicians close to GMA to dictate upon his work as a back burner of government economic policies.
The biggest challenge to NEDA today is providing a viable solution to the water shortage of the NCR. The solutions to the traffic congestion are already being built.
Alfredo E. Pascual, Secretary for Trade and Industry.
This position is not suited for Sec Pascual. While he graduated engineering from UP Diliman, his expertise is international banking and finance. Before his appointment as President of UP, he was with ADB.
Of course, he can easily handle the DTI. His direst challenge is making DTI worked for the geographical dispersion of industries, especially Mindanao. Mindanao is mostly doing upstream productions both in agriculture and minerals. The DTI must direct resources to develop downstream industries from the various upstream industries all over Mindanao, be it in mining or in agriculture.
Felipe M. Medalla, Governor BSP.
Medalla was NEDA Secretary during President Estrada’s time.
The Governor of the BSP is not a cabinet position. The BSP has supervisory control of all financial institutions in the country. This is its bureaucratic work. It compels banks to comply to all its policies. But it’s more crucial role is managing the inflation of the Philippine economy.
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Today, this is very important since the global economy is facing lack of growth and high inflation. The profligate budgetary policies of the Duterte Administration resulted in the current inflation of 5%. Our inflation should go down to 1.5%. To achieve this is the challenge of Gov. Medalla.