MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte has accepted Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia’s resignation even as he appointed youthful Finance Undersecretary Karl Chua acting National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) chief.

This was confirmed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea just minutes after Pernia announced his resignation from his post.

Medialdea also said President Duterte accepted Pernia’s resignation.

“The President has appointed DOF (Department of Finance) Usec Karl Chua as acting secretary of NEDA,” Medialdea told Palace reporters.

A senior economist at the World Bank before joining government service, the acting NEDA secretary takes the helm as the Philippines plans its economic response to and recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

On his resignation letter, Pernia cited “personal reasons and partly to differences in development philosophy with a few of my fellow Cabinet members.”

“I would like to thank the President for appointing me to the position. It has been an honor and privilege to have served the country under his administration for the past nearly 4 years,” he said. (ia/SovereignPH.com)

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