Escudero: Marcos’ picks for economic team show PH ‘headed in right direction’

MANILA, Philippines — President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos’ Jr. picks for his economic team show a move in the right direction, said senator-elect and Sorsogon Governor Francis Escudero on Friday.

According to Escudero, the choices that Marcos made will help the country’s standing with the business sector and the international community, as the roster boasts a wide array of experience in economic management.

“All are known and competent in their respective fields and President-elect Marcos’ economic team should inspire confidence from the business sector and the international community,” Escudero, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Finance during the 16th Congress, said in a statement.

“The appointments send a strong message as a whole that our country is headed in the right direction and will sustain the stability and growth of our economy,” he added.

Some of the individuals named by Marcos recently include Arsenio Balisacan, who is returning to head National Economic and Development Authority after leading it during former president Benigno Aquino III’s term, and current Central Bank Governor Benjamin Diokno, who accepted the Department of Finance post.

Aside from the two, former University of the Philippines head Alfred Pascual has been tapped to head the Department of Trade and Industry, while Monetary Board member Felipe Medalla will replace Diokno at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

READ: BSP governnor Diokno is next Finance chief, Marcos Jr. says

Escudero also believes that Marcos should be given some leeway in picking who would be part not only of his economic team, but also of his Cabinet, adding that the nominations can be approved if no pressing issue is raised during Commission on Appointment hearings.

“The President should have a wide enough latitude in choosing his Cabinet and team that will implement his plans, programs and vision for our country and people,” Escudero said.

“Absent any strong and valid issues that may be brought out and proven against his nominee, there should be no problems getting CA nod,” he added.

Aside from the economic team, Marcos had already named several persons who would lead other departments, like Vice President-elect Sara Duterte-Carpio, who accepted the proposal to head the Department of Education; Manuel Bonoan for the Department of Public Works and Highways; Bienvenido Laguesma for the Department of Labor and Employment; Susan “Toots” Ople for the Department of Migrant Workers; and lawyer Trixie Cruz-Angeles as press secretary.

Marcos was only proclaimed as winner of the presidential race last Wednesday, but experts have been awaiting his stance ons several issues especially as the country is looking to fully recover from the economic downturn.

READ: Bongbong Marcos nixes suspension of fuel excise tax, to explore other options

On Thursday, Marcos said that there may be other ways to address rising prices of fuel products without removing the excise tax on oil.  For trade, he said that he has no qualms about joining the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), but he stressed that the agriculture sector of the country must already be strong enough to compete with other nations.

READ: Investors keen to see Marcos’ agenda in first 100 days 


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