DTI chief to stay until Dec. 31

HEEDING an earlier call from President Benigno Aquino III, Trade Secretary Gregory L. Domingo has agreed to stay in the Cabinet until Dec. 31 despite his eagerness to move on and return to the private sector.

Domingo said he reached the decision after speaking with Aquino last Tuesday, a day after he announced that he submitted his resignation because he wants to return to the private sector.

“Yes, we talked and I agreed to stay until year-end,” Domingo told reporters, explaining that he and his department have already completed their task for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings.

On Monday, Aquino said Domingo had long informed him that he wanted to return to the private sector.

“We would like to thank Secretary Domingo for all of the work that he has done on behalf of the country,” noting that foreign direct grew six-fold under Domingo’s watch.

Domingo explained that he submitted his resignation and wanted it to be effective by October because he wants the get the clock running on his one year prohibition to move on to other areas of interest.

“I still have one year prohibition on areas that I run. So even if I stop now I cannot work until October next year. I’ve been with this department long enough,” he said.

Aside from Domingo, Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agricultural Modernization Secretary Francis Pangilinan has also resigned, effective Sept. 30, ahead of the October deadline for the submission of certificates of candidacies in next year’s elections.

But the Palace said Pangilinan’s resignation would not affect the country’s food security program beause they have already put up a Food Security Council to address that concern.

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