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Marcos Economic Team Takes Shape with Return of Aquino's NEDA Chief Balisacan

Four appointments announced on Monday.
by Erwin Colcol
May 23, 2022
Photo/s: Jam Sta Rosa, Agence France-Presse
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Presumptive president Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on Monday named three members of his incoming economic team, including the late President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino's former socioeconomic planning secretary.

Arsenio Balisacan will return as director-general of the National Economic Development Authority, which is in charge of crafting policies for growth and target-setting. Currently the head of the Philippine Competition Commission, Balisacan hails from Ilocos Norte, the bailiwick of the Marcoses.

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Marcos said he had worked with Balisacan when he was still governor of Ilocos Norte and they had "very similar thinking."

"For employment, for the development of our economy, nag-usap kami ng ilang oras at mukha namang tumutugma ang aming pag-iisip patungkol sa approach natin dito sa darating na mga taon when it comes to economic managers," he said.

Marcos also said former Labor Sec. Bienvenido Laguesma would return to his old post during the Estrada administration, while longtime migrant workers advocate Susan "Toots" Ople will head the newly-formed Department of Migrant Workers.

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Laguesma, Ople, and Balisacan have all accepted the offers to them, according to Marcos' spokesperson and incoming executive secretary Vic Rodriguez. Earlier Monday, Cavite Rep. Crispin "Boying" Remulla said he accepted the offer to head the justice department.

Ople, is the daughter of the late Sen. Blas Ople, who was labor minister during the administration of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr.

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"Sabi ko para hindi matigil ang functions, ngayon pa lang umpisahan na natin pag-isipan kung ano ang gagawin natin para pagdating ng panahon ay mabilis na. The Department of Migrant Workers from Day 1 will immediately be operational and performing its function," he said.

Earlier, several names have been announced as members of the Marcos Cabinet, including presumptive vice president Sara Duterte-Carpio as education secretary, Benhur Abalos as interior secretary, and Cavite Rep. Jesus Crispin "Boying" Remulla as justice secretary.

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Marcos asked the public to give him a few more days to finalize the list of his Cabinet officials.

"We’re working very hard on the other departments and dahan dahan naman we are beginning to fill the positions, I still have to talk to them some of our proposed nominees and we have to understand na nagkakasundo kami sa polisiya," he said.

"Kasi kung hindi naman sila mag-aagree ay mahirap naman masyado yun. So we will continue to discuss with them and should they agree ay umpishan na namin ang planning para diyan," he added.

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