PRRD wants 4 economic managers to remain in gov’t beyond his term

By Genalyn Kabiling

President Duterte is hoping that his four best performing economic managers will stay as government consultants even after his term ends.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his speech during the oath-taking ceremony of the newly appointed officials at the Malacañan Palace on August 5, 2019. (KING RODRIGUEZ / PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

The President has praised Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar and Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III during a recent Palace event, saying the local economy will continue to grow under their watch.

“Tugade and Villar plus itong si ano si Lopez. I hope they’d be around post Duterte even as a — mga consultant lang. Mahusay. Talagang mabuhay [Villar is competent. I was not at first but he performed well. Tugade, Villar, and Lopez — I hope they’d be around post-Duterte even as consultants. They’re really competent],” he said during an assembly of local government officials in Malacañang last Tuesday.

“And you can expect the economy will grow Dominguez and company ‘yan [They are really efficient and you can expect the economy will grow (under) Dominguez and company],” he added.

Duterte made the remarks as the government pursued efforts to spur economic growth and infrastructure development since the start of his term.

Recently, the country’s inflation eased to 2.4 percent last July, the lowest recorded since January 2017.

Malacañang has credited President Duterte and the economic team’s hard work and political will for ensuring the downward trend of the inflation rate.

READ MORE: Inflation cools down to 2.4% in JulyPalace confident inflation will continue to ease

Duterte, in his remarks last Tuesday, admitted that he had initial misgivings about Villar because he knows him only as a son of a politician, but eventually became impressed with his performance. He attested that Villar, son of former Senator Manny Villar and Senator Cynthia Villar, is a hardworking public servant.

“To tell you frankly, I had my misgivings about Villar during the first days but he turned out to be one of the best performers. Tugade, siya, and of course Sonny Dominguez,” he said.

“Si Villar, ma’am, is a hardworking. Tsaka pumupunta talaga — pumupunta siya doon, governor? Ano talaga, mahusay siya at saka wala masyadong corruption Villar is hardworking, he really visits the provinces. He is competent and not involved in corruption],” he added.

With the help of his efficient economic team, the President has assured the local government officials about the continued fair distribution of the national budget to all provinces.

“I assure you, the money will be spread equally,” he said.

He added that the government will “take care first of all the needs of the rest of the Philippines, improve their airports” before focusing on the development of his home city of Davao.

The latest members of the President’s economic team are acting Agriculture Secretary William Dar and acting Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado.

Dar, the former agriculture chief during the Estrada administration, replaced Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol who has been transferred to head the Mindanao Development Authority.

Avisado, on the other hand, takes the place of Janet Abuel who has served as DBM officer-in-charge since April. Abuel returns to her post as DBM undersecretary.

READ MORE: PH economy further weakens in Q2