Paderanga quits NEDA

By Jojo Malig,

Posted at May 12 2012 01:08 PM | Updated as of May 13 2012 07:48 PM

Socio-Economic Planning Secretary Cayetano Paderanga Jr. has left NEDA.

MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) - Socio-Economic Planning Secretary Cayetano Paderanga Jr. has resigned from the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), a Palace official said Saturday.

Paderanga quit his post because of health reasons, according to deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte.

President Benigno Aquino appointed Dean Arsenio Balisacan of the University of the Philippines as acting NEDA director-general, Valte said.

"I am grateful to the President not only for giving me the opportunity to serve the Cabinet for the second time, but also for understanding the reasons why I decided to leave," the 63-year-old Paderanga said in a press statement.

"NEDA will be in good hands with Dean Balisacan," said Paderanga, who is also Balisacan's colleague at the UPSE.

Paderanga previously served as NEDA director-general from 1990 to 1992 under former President Cory Aquino.

He was appointed for the second time at the Cabinet on June 29, 2010 by President Benigno Aquino III.

Paderanga was confirmed as NEDA chief by the Commission on Appointments on May 17, 2011.

He also served as member of the Monetary Board of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and executive director of the Asian Development Bank.

Paderanga is the 4th Cabinet secretary of the Aquino administration to resign after Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo, Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Jose "Ping" de Jesus, and Tourism Secretary Alberto Lim.

Romulo went on indefinite leave at the height of tensions in the Middle East in 2011. Albert del Rosario replaced Romulo.

De Jesus resigned June 2011 amid reports of slow implementation of projects. He was replaced by former Senator Mar Roxas.

Lim quit in August 2011, months after a failed new tourism marketing slogan, Pilipinas Kay Ganda. He was replaced by advertising executive Ramon Jimenez.

The appointment of Balisacan, an anti-poverty expert, came following a dip in President Aquino's ratings principally due to inflation and surveys showing a jump in self-rated poverty.

A Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey in March 2012 showed a 10-percentage point increase in self-rated poverty, with 11 million Filipino families saying they are poor.

Balisacan takes over

Balisacan, who will be Paderanga's acting replacement, is current dean of UP Diliman's School of Economics.

President Aquino has appointed Dean Arsenio Balisacan of the University of the Philippines as acting NEDA director-general.

He is also executive director of the Philippine Center for Economic Development, adjunct professor of the Australian National University and academician at the National Academy of Science and Technology.

Balisacan, who will leave his academic post for the new appointment, said he would build on the achievements and reforms paved by Paderanga.

"Secretary Paderanga has led in instituting changes in the planning, investment programming and M&E (monitoring and evaluation) processes within NEDA and the government. We will build on these reforms as we focus on reducing poverty and attaining inclusive growth that leaves no one behind," Balisacan said.

As Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and NEDA Director-General, Balisacan will concurrently chair the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB), Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), and Philippine Center for Economic Development (PCED).

Balisacan will also be the vice-chair of the NEDA Board, the country's highest development planning and policy coordinating body chaired by the President, as well as head of several interagency committees under the NEDA Board.

Balisacan was director of the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture from 2003-2009, undersecretary for Policy and Planning of the Department of Agriculture, and economist at the World Bank.

His areas of expertise are agricultural economics, development economics, and poverty and income distribution, according to his profile at the UP School of Economics website.

Balisacan graduated magna cum laude with a degree in agriculture at the Mariano Marcos State University in 1979.

He finished his masteral in Agricultural Economics at  UP Los Baños in 1982 and earned a Ph.D. in economics at the University of Hawaii in 1985.