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Aquino appoints UP's Dean Balisacan as new NEDA chief

May 12, 2012 11:11am
President Benigno Aquino III has appointed University of the Philippines School of Economics dean and professor Arsenio Balisacan as the country’s acting socio-economic planning secretary, following the resignation of Cayetano Paderanga Jr.
 
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said Saturday Aquino signed Balisacan’s appointment papers last May 10, after Paderanga said he was stepping down for health reasons.
 
“Sec. Paderanga has signified his intention to step down for health reasons ... He has been in service to this administration for the last two years,” Valte said on government-run dzRB radio.
 
Valte said Paderanga met with Aquino and told him of his intention to step down, but did not give further details.
 
Paderanga had also served under the administration of Aquino’s late mother Corazon, heading the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) from 1990 to 1992.
 
“We’re very happy to have worked with Sec. Paderanga. We thank him for the help he has given to the president,” Valte said.

Newly-named NEDA director general Arsenio Balisacan has vowed to build on the gains of his predecessor Cayetano Paderanga Jr.
 
Balisacan, dean of the University of the Philippines School of Economics (UPSE), lauded Paderanga for instituting changes in the processes within NEDA and the government.
 
"Sec. Paderanga has led in instituting changes in the planning, investment programming and M&E (monitoring and evaluation) processes within NEDA and the government. We will build on these reforms as we focus on reducing poverty and attaining inclusive growth that leaves no one behind," Balisacan said in a news release posted on the NEDA website.
 
As acting socio-economic planning secretary and NEDA director-general, Balisacan will concurrently chair the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB), Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), and Philippine Center for Economic Development (PCED).
 
He will also be the vice-chairman of the NEDA Board, the country's highest development planning and policy coordinating body chaired by the President.
 
Balisacan will also head several interagency committees under the NEDA Board.
 
Paderanga said he believes the NEDA will be in good hands under Balisacan. He cited health reasons for his departure from NEDA and the Cabinet.
 
"I am grateful to the President not only for giving me the opportunity to serve the Cabinet for the second time, but also for understanding the reasons why I decided to leave," he said.
 
Paderanga was also appointed to the same position from 1990 to 1992 during the administration of President Benigno Aquino III's late mother Corazon.
 
Balisacan’s credentials
 
NEDA said Balisacan is acknowledged in Asia as a leading expert on poverty and known as a leading development economist in Southeast Asia.
 
Balisacan was Director-Chief Executive of the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) from 2003 to 2009, and Undersecretary of the Department of Agriculture in 2000, 2001 and 2003.

As Agriculture Undersecretary, he was the country’s chief negotiator in the Agriculture Negotiations of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and in various bilateral agriculture negotiations.
 
Prior to joining the University of the Philippines School of Economics, he was a research fellow at the East West Center in Honolulu, and an economist at the World Bank in Washington, D.C.
 
He is also an author and co-author of several books on the Philippine economy, poverty, and rural development, and served as president of various professional organizations, including Philippine Economic Society, Human Development Network, and Asian Society of Agricultural Economists.
 
Balisacan holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Hawaii, a Master's degree in Agricultural Economics from UP Los Baños, and a Bachelor's degree in Agriculture (magna cum laude) from the Mariano Marcos State University. — ELR, GMA News



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