Another leader of the left has been named to a key government post.
Former party-list Congresswoman Liza Maza of the Gabriela Party has been appointed lead convenor of the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC), an advisory body tasked to craft poverty alleviation agenda and oversees the government's social reform program, according to a Palace statement.
Maza, described by Duterte as "an activist advocating the rights of the poor," must ensure "there is equitable distribution of wealth," and reduction of poverty as lead convenor of the coordinating body.
The NAPC, which took effect in June 1998 after the enactment of the Social Reform and Poverty Alleviation Act of 1997, seeks to strengthen partnerships between the national government and basic sectors such as farmers and fishermen.
It acts as the "coordinating and advisory body" that "exercises oversight functions in implementing the Social Reform Agenda" and ensures that it is "incorporated into the formulation of national, regional, sub-regional and local development plans."
Socio-Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia earlier recommended that Vice President Leni Robredo be appointed to the post, but then-President-elect Rodrigo Duterte said he would appoint a nominee of the National Democratic Front (NDF).
As Gabriela Representative, Maza advocated for the protection of the welfare of the poor and marginalized, the statement from Duterte said.
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In the 13th and 14 Congress, Maza authored 53 bills and 120 resolutions, Malacañang recognized.
Maza was also the co-author of several laws, including the Rent Control Act of 2009, Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006, Magna Carta for Women, Philippine Nursing Act, Anti-Torture Law, Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003, and Anti-Violence against Women and Children Act.
She served as a student leader in the University of the Philippines, and received her Bachelor of Science in Business Economics degree from the state university in 1978.
The Palace said Maza has honed "her passion for public service and activism through integration with urban poor women and workers" from her days in the university, and has "brought issues from the grassroots to the frontlines of rallies and picket-lines, and to the halls of Congress."
Malacanang also announced the appointment of Globe Telecom's Atty. Rodolfo Salalima, Duterte's San Beda law schoolmate, as secretary of the newly created Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT).
Former Philippine Tourism Authority Administrator and National Food Authority chief Angelito Banayo was also named Managing Director and Resident Representative of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO), the Philippines’ representative office in Taiwan, functioning as a de facto embassy.