Marcos Cabinet: Top executive department appointments

>> Friday, June 17, 2022


(Here is an article by Mark Ernest Famatigan on latest appointments for top government executive offices):
Here’s a quick rundown of president-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s cabinet. As head of the executive department, he will work with these individuals closely in running the government.
    Amenah Pangandaman
    Amenah Pangandaman, Assistant Governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), will soon be secretary of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
    Pangandaman worked closely with current BSP governor and soon to be Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno during his term at DBM under President Duterte. She served as Assistant Secretary, Chief of Staff, and Legislative Liaison Officer to the Presidential Legal Liaison Office (PLLO).
    Prior to being Chief of Staff for the Office of Senator Edgardo Angara from June 2007 to June 2013, she was part of a Political and Constituency Policy Research Group for his office. A couple of years after that, she became part of the Committee of Finance of Senator Loren Legarda’s office.
    Pangandaman was linked to a 2019 investigation of the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee.
    At the time, then-DBM secretary Diokno was being investigated for “anomalous budget practices” – an accusation which he has denied. Diokno had been absent for the sixth time for the House committee’s probe. Pangandaman was present in the hearing, according to Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr.
    Andaya accused Diokno of offering him P40 billion to insert a list of projects worth a total of P75 billion into the budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). Three DPWH computer programmers testified that Pangandaman and division chief Ellen Tumang asked them to encode the projects. The P75 billion was soon removed and reappropriated.
    Sara Duterte -- Department of Education
    Vice President-elect Sara Duterte, daughter of incumbent president Rodrigo Duterte, is the next Secretary of Education. It will be her mandate to manage the primary and secondary school system in the Philippines.
    She is not a graduate of any degree related to education.
    Ben Diokno, incumbent governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), will be next Secretary of Finance under Marcos Jr. He will be responsible for fiscal policies, revenue generation, and management of public debt.
    Prior to his stint at the BSP, Diokno became the secretary of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) from 2016 to 2019 under Duterte and all throughout the term of ousted president Erap Estrada.
    In the early weeks of the pandemic, Diokno said that “there is no reason to believe that the Covid-19 crisis could severely cut the Philippine growth momentum.” The opposite is true, however, with the country experiencing a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate of 9.5% – the worst since 1947 from 2019 to 2020.
    Department of Interior and Local Government - Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr.
    Ben Abalos was the chairman of the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) for a little over a year from January 2021 to February 2022. He resigned from the post to manage the campaign of Marcos Jr. Now he makes a comeback in government to be the next Interior and Local Government Secretary, where he will have oversight on the Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP).
    He expressed support for Bongbong Marcos as early as 2016 during the vice presidential elections. He was implicated to be an anti-Marcos activist in People Power I.
    Department of Justice - Boying Remulla
    Boying Remulla already won reelection to be the 7th legislative district representative of Cavite when he was approached by Marcos Jr. to be the next Secretary of Justice. He will no longer take the legislative post to take on the job.
    He graduated from the University of the Philippines (UP) College of Law in 1987 and passed the bar the year prior. Boying belongs to a political dynasty – with his brother Jonvic currently a provincial governor, his brother Gilbert being a former 2nd district legislator from 2001 to 2007, and his father being the former Cavite governor for fourteen years.
    Remulla was criticized by social media users and a human rights group last March for “red-tagging” the political rally of then-presidential aspirant Leni Robredo, saying that some attendees were trained by the revolutionary National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).
    Department of Labor and Employment - Bienvenido “Benny” Laguesma
    Bienvenido Laguesma was the former Labor Secretary under ousted President Erap Estrada. He started working in the Department during the term of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. He also became the Commissioner of the Social Security Commission (SSC) under the Noynoy Aquino administration.
Laguesma is an independent director of PAL Holdings, Inc., according to their website. He was also the director of Philex Mining and the First Metro Investment Corporation.
    Other incoming executive department heads:
    Department of Information and Communications Technology – Ivan John Uy
    Department of Migrant Workers - Susan “Toots” Ople
    Department of Public Works and Highways - Manuel Bonoan
    Department of Social Welfare and Development – Erwin Tulfo
    Department of Tourism – Christina Frasco
    Department of Trade and Industry - Alfredo Pascual
    Other offices and positions under the president
    Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas – Felipe Medalla
    National Economic Development Authority – Arsenio Balisacan
    Office of the Executive Secretary – Vic Rodriguez
    Office of the Special Assistant to the President – Antonio Lagdameo Jr.
    Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) – Trixie Cruz-Angeles
    Presidential Management Staff – Zenaida Angpin
To be announced:
Department of Agrarian Reform
Department of Agriculture
        Department of Energy
        Department of Environment and Natural Resources
        Department of Foreign Affairs
        Department of Health
        Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development
        Department of National Defense
        Department of Science and Technology
        Department of Transportation
        National Security Council
        Office of the Cabinet Secretary
        Office of the Political Adviser
        Office of the Presidential Adviser for the Visayas
        Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process
        Office of the Presidential Chief Legal Counsel
        Office of the Presidential Spokesperson
        Office of the Solicitor General
        Presidential Legal Liaison Office
    (Mark Ernest Famatigan is a news writer who focuses on Philippine politics. He is an advocate for press freedom and regularly follows developments on the Philippine economy. The views expressed are his own).


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