By Genalyn Kabiling
President Duterte has ordered acting National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Director General Karl Kendrick Chua to ensure the swift implementation of the national identification system.
The President also asked Chua to finalize the country’s economic recovery plan amid the coronavirus pandemic as well as speed up the massive infrastructure program, according to presidential spokesman Harry Roque.
Chua, Undersecretary of the Department of Finance, has recently been appointed to replace Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia to lead the NEDA.
Pernia resigned last Friday over personal reasons as well as development policy differences with some Cabinet members. His departure comes amid the government’s efforts to address the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the people and the economy.
“Ano ang mandato ng Presidente kay Secretary Chua? Unang-una, ipatupad sa lalong mabilis na panahon ang national ID system. Pangalawa, atupagin ang COVID recovery plan, at pangatlo, ang mas mabilis at mas mabuting pag-implementa ng ‘Build, Build, Build’ projects sa pamamagitan ng Investment Coordination Committee (What is the President’s mandate to Secretary Chua: First, to implement the national ID system as soon as possible. Second, complete the COVID recovery plan, and third, faster and more efficient implementation of ‘Build, Build, Build’ projects through the Investment Coordination Committee),” Roque said during a Palace press briefing on Tuesday.
“Welcome on board Secretary Chua,” he added.
Prior to his appointment, Chua served as Undersecretary for Strategy, Economics, and Results Group in the Department of Finance. He previously worked as senior country economist of the World Bank for the Philippines. Chua earned his doctorate degree in economics at the University of the Philippines.
Pernia left the Duterte Cabinet in the middle of the government’s response measures, including the relief distribution to affected sectors as well preparations for the economic recovery plan.
The President earlier expressed frustration that the national ID system has not been fully implemented two years since it was signed into law. He said a single identification program could have facilitated the swift distribution of financial aid to sectors affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The President had recently said the government has started to craft the responsive and sustainable recovery plan, including establishing the “new normal” state of economic activities. NEDA heads a task group designated to craft the country’s economic recovery plan that will be presented to the President.