Philippines' economic planning chief quits, citing Cabinet rift

Philippine economic planning secretary Ernesto Pernia has been supporting a looser lockdown of Luzon island.
Philippine economic planning secretary Ernesto Pernia has been supporting a looser lockdown of Luzon island.PHOTO: INQUIRER/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

MANILA (BLOOMBERG) - Philippine Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia has stepped down, citing differences in President Rodrigo Duterte's Cabinet. Finance Undersecretary Karl Kendrick Chua will take his place.

"I have decided to resign from my post. This is due partly to personal reasons and partly to differences in development philosophy with a few of my fellow Cabinet members," Mr Pernia said in a statement, without elaborating.

Mr Pernia, 76, has been supporting a looser lockdown of the Philippines' main Luzon island amid the coronavirus outbreak. He was an economics professor at the University of the Philippines and a former economist at the Asian Development Bank before Mr Duterte appointed him in 2016.

Mr Duterte accepted Mr Pernia's resignation and named Mr Chua in an acting capacity, presidential spokesman Harry Roque said in a mobile-phone message. Mr Chua was an economist at the World Bank before he joined the government in 2016.