MANILA – Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III has decried allegations naming him as the reason behind the resignation of Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia.

“I can’t imagine why,” he told journalists Friday in a Viber message when asked for his reaction on talks regarding this.

Pernia, who was also the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) director general, attributed his decision “partly to personal reasons and partly to differences in development philosophy with a few of my fellow Cabinet members.”

He thanked President Rodrigo Duterte for making him a part of his Cabinet “for the past nearly four years” and the NEDA officials and employees who helped him in “crafting and pursuing the goals of the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 and the Ambisyon Natin 2040.”

“I leave NEDA knowing that we have initiated and implemented meaningful changes that will help the country overcome these challenging times and on to a higher growth trajectory,” he said.

Pernia was replaced by Finance Undersecretary Karl Kendrick Chua, who has been appointed by President Duterte as NEDA Acting Secretary.

Dominguez said Chua, who led the Department of Finance’s (DOF) tax reform campaign, will not have a concurrent position at the NEDA and DOF.  (PNA)

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