INCOMING President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr., has received praises from the business community for appointing his economic managers who have no political colors and who were known as the best and considered as “A-team” in the sector.
Marcos recently announced the nomination of Arsenio Balisacan as National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), while outgoing Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Ben Diokno, was nominated as finance secretary.
Diokno will be replaced by Felipe Medalla as BSP governor while Alfredo Pascual has also accepted his nomination as Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) secretary.
“Very reassuring, most of them have been in the public service before. Ok naman ang mga track record nila and they have done well,” said George Barcelon, president of Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) in an interview on a television network.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Exporters Confederation also praised the appointment of BBM’s economic team which it claimed was not a political accommodation and is confident will serve the public truthfully.
“We are very happy with the choices. Yung unang fear namin baka magiging political appointees. Wala akong alam doon na naghahabol sa pwesto. Yung mga ‘yun ay kinausap at some of them, pinakausapan pa magsilbi,” according to Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr., president, Philippine Exporters Confederation.
For its part, the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) is very confident that the small businesses will be protected under the leadership of Pascual, the incoming DTI secretary.
“He (Pascual) knows what he’s going to do, of course with the DTI a lot of uplifting in the SMEs, I think the Filipinos are one of the best business people, you give them a space automatic may sari-sari store, automatic they would know how to sell. So imagine that if we give them that platform to really become business people, to really become entrepreneurs, we would really have a very strong economy,” Donald Lim, president of MAP, noted.
Also, political economist Calixto Chikiamco, branded the economic team of Marcos as the “A-Team” in the business community because of its vast experience in the government service.
“All of them have academic credentials and also they all have the experience. Medalla, Diokno and Balisacan all have PHDs in economics and were former professors in the UP School of Economics,” said Chikiamco in the same interview.
“While Pascual used to be a consultant with ADB and former President of UP. So they’re all tried and tested, so the business is quite confident in the competence of this new economic team,” he added.
Balisacan, who served in at least three presidents—Joseph Estrada, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Noynoy Aquino—believed that apart from being an expert in the business industry among his qualifications is that he has no political leaning.
“I think the incoming president knows very well that I don’t have politics in my blood and I just do my work. So it should not really matter who I work with,” Balisacan said in another interview.
“I worked with Pres. Estrada as well. I was Undersecretary of the Department of Agriculture when he was president. I worked with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and of course Pnoy at the highest level. I really did not put any politics at all into my work,” he added.
For Diokno, it’s duty call when he accepted the nomination as Finance department head.
“Duty calls I think because right now we have a very good team at the BSP, I know that Philip Medalla is a good replacement for me and the President says he needs somebody who will be responsible for running the economy and that’s it. How you can refuse the president who was elected by 31Million Filipinos. So, that’s the story,” Diokno said.