By Helen Flores | The Philippine Star
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang has welcomed the appointments to president-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s economic team.
“The country is in good hands with the incoming secretaries of the Department of Finance, our Bangko Sentral (ng Pilipinas), as well as our DBM (Department of Budget and Management) and our NEDA (National Economic and Development Authority),” acting deputy presidential spokesman Kris Ablan said at a recent press briefing.
Ablan made the response when asked about the government’s plan to reduce the P13-trillion national debt before President Duterte steps down from office on June 30.
Marcos has chosen Arsenio Balisacan to be the next NEDA chief, BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno as incoming finance secretary, and former University of the Philippines president Alfredo Pascual as incoming trade secretary. Felipe Medalla, a current monetary board member, will take over as BSP governor.
Only one Cabinet post – Department of Budget and Management secretary portfolio – needs to be filled to complete the Marcos economic team. But several business groups have already lauded Marcos’ economic managers.
Political economist Calixto Chikiamco earlier branded the incoming economic team as the “A-Team” in the business community because of its vast experience in government service.
Diokno served as budget secretary from 2016 to 2019.
Balisacan, on the other hand, served at least three presidents – Joseph Estrada, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Benigno Aquino III.