Neri Named Socio-Economic Planning Secretary; Canlas out.(Main News)
Byline: GENALYN D. KABILING
Congressional Planning and Budget Officer Romulo L. Neri is the new socio-economic planning secretary of the Arroyo administration.
Arroyo yesterday named Neri to replace Dante Canlas, who was asked to resign by the Chief Executive in the latest Cabinet revamp.
The President announced the appointment of the new member of her economic team during the 28th Philippine Business Conference at the Manila Hotel.
Neri is a professor at the Asian Institute of Management.
Arroyo, who did not give a reason for removing Canlas, thanked him for his "remarkable macroeconomic performance" during the past 20 months "where my goal of growth with price stability was realized despite the shock that intervened during the period."
But the President emphasized the need "to shift from the dominantly macroeconomic and demand side focus to microeconomic and supply side productivity enhancing measures."
Also, Arroyo directed the new NEDA secretarygeneral to effectively use the "unused and untapped overseas development assistance funds (ODAFs)" for vital infrastructure projects.
"We have tens of billions of pesos in grants and concessional credit choked within our democratic apparatus. The NEDA and other agencies must now declog the bottleneck and streamline procedures on ODA and build-operate-transfer projects," she said in her speech.
The President said the government must mobilized this "long accumulated resources" in the modernization of the railway system, mass transportation, and reforms in the power sector.
Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye said the President chose Neri because "they work in the same wave length" on microeconomics system.
He said Neri, like the President, believes the promotion of small and medium enterprises, reduction of transportation costs, and private sector-led housing, among others, would improve the local economy.
The President said Wednesday she is continuously reviewing the performance of her cabinet and would dismiss them "as the need arises."
As congressional planning and budget officer since 1990, Neri provided advice to the House of Representatives on socio-economic issues, particularly on fiscal and monetary policies, performance of government agencies, development financing and the budget of the national government.
He was also an associate professor for corporate financial management at the AIM from 1986 to 1990.
Other positions he held include corporate planning manager of the Canlubang Sugar Estate (1980-1985), assistant finance manager (assistant treasurer) of the Philippine National Oil Company (1979-1980), planning coordinator of the Philippine National Oil Company (1976-1977), and planning coordinator of the Luzon Stevedoring Corp. (1975-1976).
Neri holds a Master in Business Management from the University of California in Los Angeles in 1979. He completed his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at the University of the Philippines in 1970.
Canlas, reports said, will return as head of the National Power Corp.
MANILA (AFP) - President Gloria Arroyo yesterday sacked her economic minister and set up a special monitoring system to prevent corruption in government contracts.
She said Economic Planning Secretary Dante Canlas would be replaced by Romulo Neri, a professor at the Asian Institute of Management and head of the Congressional budget and planning office.
Canlas is the third minister to go in two weeks.
On Nov. 30, the President removed Environment Secretary Heherson Alvarez and Agriculture Secretary Leonardo Montemayor.
The Philippine economy has been hit by a growing budget deficit that had raised concerns among the country's international creditors and hurt investor confidence. …