Marcos belies econ team reshuffle looms amid rumors on Diokno replacement

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 22 2022 03:51 PM | Updated as of Nov 22 2022 05:46 PM

MANILA (UPDATED) — President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. denied rumors that his cabinet's economic cluster would be reshuffled, saying he does not see any reason to do so. 

"Fake news. I don't know where it comes from. Why would I do that?" Marcos said on the sidelines of the Civil Service Commission's event in Pasay City. 

Marcos said he has "assembled a great team." 

"We are trying to go down a certain direction. It’s the wrong --- it’s a very, very poor time to, as they say, change horses in midstream," he added. 

House Ways and Means Committee Chair and Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda earlier dismissed as mere speculation the rumors that he will soon be replacing Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno.

This was after local business news website Bilyonaryo.com on Monday ran an article saying President Ferdinand Marcos Jr was mulling a replacement for Diokno.

Diokno also downplayed the issue by saying that he is focused on his job.

This came after Marcos last week appointed his new taxman Romeo Lumagui Jr., replacing Lilia Catris Guillermo, who held the post since June this year. 

But the rumors had some business and civil society leaders concerned.

Rogelio Singson, president of the Management Association of the Philippines, said the sudden change in leadership at the BIR and the uncertainty surrounding the DOF are unfortunate. 

"Predictability, as I said, is very important for continuity of the private sector getting into long-term contracts... Iyong overnight, I think it is a little, very unsettling to say the least.” 

Singson shared that MAP was already working with Guillermo prior to her replacement. 

“MAP had a session with her. One of the persons we met, just to show our support for policies of DOF and BIR." 

Singson said he does not know Lumagui, but will also reach out to him to offer the same courtesy they offered Guillermo. 

For his part, Stratbase ADR Institute president Professor Dindo Manhit reiterated the need for stability. 

“We need some stability and we have good people in the economic team of the President and I think not only us, civil society and thinktank groups, but even the business associations, business groups and even the private sector would like stability with the economic team we have today.”

Manhit added sudden leadership changes will only bring more challenges.

—with report from Warren de Guzman, ABS-CBN News
 

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