Anti-trust chief to lead economic planning agency

May 24, 2022 - 9:44 AM
Ferdinand Marcos Jr
President-elect Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., son of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, speaks during a news conference at his headquarters in Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila, Philippines, May 23, 2022. (Reuters/Lisa Marie David)
  • Balisacan is first economic appointment to Marcos Jr’s cabinet
  • Economist Balisacan returns to agency he led in 2012-2016
  • Balisacan to focus on post-pandemic recovery

 The country’s anti-trust agency chief Arsenio Balisacan said on Monday he has accepted an offer from incoming president Ferdinand Marcos Jr to be his economic planning chief.

Balisacan, the first confirmed member of the new administration’s economics team, previously served in the same role under President Benigno Aquino from 2012 to 2016.

“I will join the new cabinet, mindful of the immense work needed to accelerate economic recovery and post-recovery development,” Balisacan said in a statement.

Marcos, who won the presidency earlier this month with nearly 60% of the vote, has said political affiliation was not a factor in selecting people to work in his government. 

Balisacan, an economist by training, said he looked forward to working with the incoming government and the private sector to help sustain the country’s economic recovery from the pandemic.

Marcos’s economic team will face challenges like the pandemic, elevated inflation and massive government debt.

Marcos, who will be sworn into office on June 30, has yet to fill all cabinet positions. He has nominated his running mate, vice president-elect Sara Duterte-Carpio, to head the education ministry, and named his spokesperson, Vic Rodriguez, as his executive secretary.

Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales; Editing by Martin Petty and Kanupriya Kapoor