Socio-economic Planning Secretary and National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Director-General Cayetano W. Paderanga Jr. has resigned, citing health reasons.
Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte announced Paderanga's resignation in an interview yesterday on dzRB.
Valte said University of the Philippines School of Economics Dean Arsenio M. Balisacan is Paderanga's temporary replacement.
Valte said President Benigno S. Aquino III accepted Paderanga's resignation last May 10, but she could not immediately provide details.
It was already the second tour of duty at NEDA for the Stanford University-educated Paderanga. He headed NEDA in 1990-1992 during the administration of the President Corazon Aquino. He was also a member of the Monetary Board of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).
"Secretary Paderanga has already signified his intention to step down for health reasons. I don't have all the details but I was told that Secretary Paderanga made a request because he has been in service for this particular administration for the past two years," Valte said.
"We thank him for the two years, the help that he has extended to the President," she added even as she belied speculations that Paderanga was made to resign.
Valte said it was Paderanga who went told the President he has health problems and wanted to turn over his task to somebody else. She has no information on when the meeting took place and when Paderanga turned in his resignation letter.
A Palace insider, however, said the 63-year-old Paderanga "will resume teaching in Japan." Prior to his appointment to NEDA in 2010, Paderanga was a visiting professor teaching development economics at Kobe University.
The source said that "it is more lucrative to teach abroad than being in government."
Valte said apart from Paderanga's resignation, there are no changes in the economic team of the Aquino administration.
Balisacan, meanwhile, brings with him impressive credentials.
He obtained a doctorate in Economics at the University of Hawaii in 1985 after finishing his masters degree in Agricultural Economics at the University of the Philippines in Los Baños, Laguna, in 1982.
He graduated magna cum laude from Mariano Marcos State University in 1979 where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture.
"He is an adjunct professor of the Australian National University and he's also the executive director of the Philippine Center for Economic Development where he has served as an adviser and expert in poverty, food security, agricultural and rural development, human development, impact assessment, and governance issues to public chief executives and legislators, non-governmental organizations, multilateral development institutions, like the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and various United Nations agencies," Valte said, reading from Balisacan's curriculum vitae.
Balisacan was also an author and co-editor of seven books and has written over 100 articles and technical journals and book chapters.
"He founded and continues to serve as the editor of the Asian Journal of Agriculture and Development, an internationally refereed journal," Valte said.