Economist-solon bares personal candidates for next PEZA chief

Economist-solon Albay 2nd district Rep. Joey Salceda wants somebody capable to take over the reins at the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA).

Albay 2nd district Rep. Joey Salceda

In a statement Saturday afternoon, Aug. 6, Salceda said that he hopes President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.'s eventual appointment will be “someone deeply familiar with the letter and spirit of the CREATE Law, so that PEZA can actually take advantage of the tax regime, rather than keep pushing for its amendment so early in the implementation of the law".

Salceda was referring to Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises or CREATE Act.

“I appeal to PBBM to appoint a steady pair of hands who can help the exports sector sail through the prospect of potential lockdowns here and elsewhere, volatility in global trade conditions, the trend towards protectionism among our trading partners, and higher probabilities of global conflict," he said.

The lawmaker further commented that, "Never since the late 1970s and the 1990s have I seen such a global environment for exports that is so complex as the one we’re in."

“I have several names in my head, although I don’t know how many of them will be willing to take on the role," Salceda, chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means, said.

Among these names, Salceda listed “Former NEDA (National Economic and Development Authority) Secretaries Karl Chua and Dante Canlas, Trade Undersecretaries Ceferino Rodoldo and Rafaelita Aldaba, FIRB (Fiscal Incentives Review Board) Board Secretary Juvy Danofrata, exports economist and UPSE (University of the Philippines School of Economics) Professor Florian Alburo”

“The nominee can also come from the business sector, preferably someone who understands the need for strong labor, infrastructure, and energy fundamentals for a strong export industry," he said.

"PBBM's economics-related appointments have been grand slams. I am confident in his wisdom and judgment on the PEZA appointment," he further said.

As if alluding to the current leadership squabble at the agency, Salceda said: "The exports sector needs a captain who can steer the ship drama-free.”