Ex-Neda chief Pernia pushed for critical projects, such as roads and highways as well as railways amid lockdown

Ex-Neda chief Pernia pushed for critical projects, such as roads and highways as well as railways amid lockdown



One of the if not the Chief architect of the Duterte economic team just resigned from his cabinet post.

Former Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said his insistence on allowing more economic activity by the private sector in a modified lockdown to control COVID-19 has created a impasse in the Cabinet but that his was not the “lone voice” in the Duterte administration.


Pernia resigned as head of the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda), citing “differences” with some members of the Cabinet on “development philosophy,” or outlook on spurring economic growth.

Outgoing National Economic Development Authority Secretary Ernesto Pernia Photo credit to  ABS-CBN News


“I wanted to stay on and continue the fight against the COVID-19, but when the orchestra is not well-orchestrated, then you have a little problem,” Pernia told CNN Philippines on Saturday. “Since I seemed to be a dissonant voice among others, I thought I should just quit.”

Pernia projected the 2nd quarter of the country will be low because of the pandemic, but things will turn around on the subsequent quarters which he says will be all in the positive.

Pernia along with several Cabinet members who wanted to push through with projects characterized as critical projects, such as roads and highways as well as railways.

But the idea was thumbed down by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).

The former NEDA director said he was hopeful that under a modified quarantine setup, building infrastructure would be allowed “because this is the best time for such infrastructure projects when traffic is at a minimal level.”

“And so when we go back to when things are normal, then people can expect easier traffic or less congestion,” he added.




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Report from PDI






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