Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Salceda welcomes Pernia as NEDA chief

LEGAZPI CITY, May 23 (PNA) -- Albay Gov. Joey Sarte Salceda on Monday said he welcomes the appointment of Ernesto M. Pernia of the University of the Philippines (UP) School of Economics as secretary of the National Economics and Development Authority (NEDA).

“I am excited about his NEDA appointment as I valued his advice when I was a congressman and a member of the Economic Managers Group.” Salceda said in a text message.

President-elect Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday announced at a press conference in Davao City that he had appointed Pernia as NEDA secretary.

Salceda said Pernia is a top-caliber economist and biased towards countryside development.

He is confident that with Pernia at the NEDA, the implementation of the Bicol International Airport project will be fasttracked while the south train project to Legazpi and the modern express way will enjoy higher prospect of realization.

Earlier during his campaign trail here, Duterte offered the NEDA portfolio to Salceda if he would be elected president.

Salceda, who won as congressman in Albay’s 2nd District by a landslide vote, said in an earlier interview that he would be willing to accept Duterte's offer, saying “given his historic mandate, it will be an honor to serve his maiden cabinet, since it would provide a better alternative in serving my constituency.”

Weeks before the election, he bolted the Liberal Party and gave his support to presidential candidate Sen. Grace Poe.

Duterte appointed Pernia on Saturday along with retired former Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Gen. Hermogenes Esperon as his National Security Adviser and his campaign manager Leoncio “Jun” Evasco as cabinet secretary. (PNA) FFC/FGS/MSA/CBD/EDS