MANILA (UPDATE) – Presidential frontrunner Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos Jr on Monday said he has nominated Philippine Competition Commission chairperson Arsenio Balisacan to head the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).
Marcos said he worked with Balisacan “extensively” when he was still a governor.
Balisacan will replace outgoing NEDA director-general and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua.
“I also tapped an old friend, who also was formerly in this position. Arci Balisacan who is our former NEDA and I’ve asked him to return to NEDA,” Marcos said.
“We have very similar thinking in that regard, kaya malakas ang loob ko. I know he’s very competent, I know his policies are policies that will be to the betterment of our country,” he added.
Balisacan said he has accepted Marcos’ offer.
“Upon the invitation of presumptive President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., I have decided to help meet the challenges of the economy as Secretary of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) in this important period of our economic history,” Balisacan said in a statement.
Balisacan was a former NEDA director-general and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary from 2012 to 2016.
“In returning to a post I have previously held, we rely on experience and judicious reckoning of socioeconomic issues to build stronger foundations for a more robust, more inclusive, and more resilient Philippine economy,” the incumbent PCC chair said.
He said he looks forward to working with the economic team and the private sector to bring back the country to its pre-pandemic high-growth trajectory, deliver rapid poverty reduction, and reduce socioeconomic inequality.
Balisacan served as Board Chairman of the Philippine Institute for Development Studies and as the first Board Chairperson of the Philippines Statistics Authority and the Public-Private Partnership Center of the Philippines, according to the PCC.
He also teaches development economics at the University of the Philippines.
Balisacan has a PhD in Economics from the University of Hawaii, MS n Agriculture from the University of the Philippines Los Baños and BS in Agriculture from the Mariano Marcos State University.
Marcos asked the public for “a few more days” to announce other nominees that would complete his economic team.