The head of the Duterte administration’s economic team was named Finance Minister of the Year for East Asia Pacific by the publication GlobalMarkets, but Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III declined what should have been his first award, citing that the reform agenda was not just a personal work but also a team effort.
In an August 30-letter to Dominguez, managing editor Toby Fildes of GlobalMarkets, the newspaper of the International Monetary Fund-World Bank Annual Meeting, said their editorial board considered the Philippine Finance chief as “the outstanding candidate for the award this year.”
“Since being appointed finance minister by President Rodrigo Duterte in July 2016, you have barely stood still. A five-pronged tax bill passed by the lower house and currently wending its way through the Senate, is the most ambitious reform package in decades,” Fildes said.
“Add in the ambition and the will to ratchet up debt and tap development banks and agencies to pay for the kind of quality infrastructure the Philippines needs, you are a man with a lot to do—and the ability and the desire to get it done,” Fildes added.
Fildes invited Dominguez to attend the awarding ceremony in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 14.
However, in a September 13-letter to Fildes, the Department of Finance (DOF), through Dominguez’s head executive assistant Marc Gregory E. Crisostomo, declined the citation.
“Thank you for considering Secretary Dominguez as the Finance Minister of the Year for East Asia Pacific. He is honored to be chosen from among a group of distinguished finance ministers in the region,” the DOF told Fildes. “Thank you for noting the efforts of the DOF to pass the comprehensive tax reform program and to usher in the golden age of infrastructure of the Philippines.”
“The Secretary is not alone in this fight for a more inclusive economy. The Cabinet works hard under the directive of the President. Thus, it is with deep regret that Secretary Dominguez declines the honor of this award as he is just performing his duties as the Secretary of Finance. As he always tells his staff, the development of the nation is a team effort,” the DOF also said. /kga
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