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Duterte names new central bank, environment chiefs
By Manolo B. Jara May 10, 2017
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MANILA: President Rodrigo Duterte made two appointments to fill major vacancies in the government – one at the Central Bank of the Philippines (CB) and the other at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Secretary Carlos Dominguez of the Department of Finance announced Duterte’s appointment of Nestor Espenilla Junior, the deputy governor, as the new CB head and replace Governor Amando Tetangco who is to retire on July 3.

“A very wise choice after a thorough evaluation of the future needs of the country and of all the candidates. We were fortunate that Governor Tetangco carefully trained his potential successors,” Dominguez pointed out.

Espenilla is a veteran central banker with over 35 years of experience, who rose from the ranks after joining the CB first as a working student while studying at the state-owned University of the Philippines School of Economics where he graduated with honors.

Espenilla is currently a CB deputy governor in charge of its Supervision and Examination Sector which overseas banks and other non-bank financial institutions.

Duterte’s other major appointment was retired military general and former chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Roy Cimatu as the secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Secretary Ernesto Abella, the presidential spokesman, said Cimatu was to replace Gina Lopez whose appointment was rejected by the powerful Commission on Appointments composed of select members of the Senate and House of Representatives.

Lopez, who belongs to a powerful and influential clan, incurred the ire of mining industry leaders by ordering the closure and suspension of several mining firms she had accused to allegedly violating the country’s environmental laws.

“We are confident that Secretary Cimatu shall faithfully serve the interest of the country and the Filipino people in his capacity as the new DENR secretary,” Abella said.

Earlier, Duterte announced that he might appoint Cimatu as the head of a proposed government department to promote and protect the interests of the estimated 10 million overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

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