MANILA—Former socio-economic planning secretary Ernesto Pernia on Saturday said the reason he relinquished his post was the “general” differences he had with other Cabinet members.
In an interview with radio DZMM, Pernia also denied that his decision was specifically because of the national health crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Mas general ’yung sinasabi ko differences of opinion regarding development policy, development philosophy. ’Yun ang sinasabi ko," he said without stating specifics.
(The differences I was talking about was more general in nature, regarding development policy, development philosophy. That’s what I said.)
“Hindi naman directly related to the COVID crisis. In fact, (it) is still more general.
“Ang standing ko, may mga disagreements on what I said, ’yun ang nakakapag-isip sa’kin na panahon na mag-quit muna.”
(There were disagreements, and eventually that convinced me that it was time for me to quit.)
Pernia, who served in the aforementioned capacity since 2016, announced his resignation Friday.
“This is due partly to personal reasons and partly to differences in development philosophy with a few of my fellow Cabinet members,” he wrote in a letter sent to President Rodrigo Duterte.
Previously, Pernia said the Philippine economy could contract should the COVID-19 crisis drag on until June.
Luzon, home to half of the country's 100 million people, has been locked down from March 17, a state of quarantine scheduled until April 30.
Earlier in the day, Malacañang “expressed its sincerest gratitude” to Pernia following his resignation, saying his replacement was expected to help steer the economy under a “new normal” in light of the coronavirus pandemic.