Manila Bulletin

BUSI­NESS

- GRE­GORY L. DOMINGO Business · Politics · Thailand · Vietnam · Procter & Gamble · Philippines · Boracay · Summit · Iloilo · Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs · Capiz · Washington Metropolitan Area

Thai­land, Viet­nam split 750,000-MT rice im­ports P&G puts PH on top pri­or­ity for ex­pan­sion Domingo set to re­join pri­vate sec­tor to re­plen­ish ‘de­plet­ing fi­nances’

Sec­re­tary Gre­gory L. Domingo, the DTI’s long­est serv­ing sec­re­tary, is so ea­ger to re­turn to the pri­vate sec­tor as quickly as pos­si­ble be­cause of his de­plet­ing fi­nances af­ter serv­ing the gov­ern­ment for more than five years.

In an am­bush in­ter­view with DTI re­porters af­ter his ad­vi­sory meet­ing with busi­ness groups on the traf­fic man­age­ment plan in the Na­tional Cap­i­tal Re­gion from Novem­ber 17-20 where the meet­ings and ac­tiv­i­ties of the lead­ers of the 21 mem­ber coun­tries of APEC will hap­pen that he has agreed with the Pres­i­dent to stay on un­til end this year. Malacañang has con­firmed Domingo’s res­ig­na­tion on Satur­day, Sept. 12.

Domingo said there was no re­ally press­ing rea­son for his res­ig­na­tion ex­cept that his fi­nances are de­plet­ing af­ter work­ing for five and three months as DTI sec­re­tary. As DTI Sec­re­tary, Domingo holds chair­man­ships in other DTI agen­cies. But his salaries com­bined could be a mi­nus­cule com­pared to what he used to re­ceive as ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the SM In­vest­ments Corp., the coun­try’s lead­ing busi­ness con­glom­er­ate.

“My fi­nances are de­plet­ing,” said Domingo, who is the fifth rich­est Cab­i­net mem­ber of the Aquino ad­min­is­tra­tion. He sounded like he is in a dire fi­nan­cial sit­u­a­tion. Had he not been pre­vailed upon to stay on un­til De­cem­ber 31 and in­stead al­lowed to leave ef­fec­tive Oc­to­ber 31, Domingo said he could go back to the pri­vate sec­tor by Novem­ber next year hav­ing passed the one year ban.

“Not press­ing rea­son but I want to start the clock run­ning be­cause I have one year pro­hi­bi­tion so even if I start now, I still can­not work in the pri­vate sec­tor right away,” he ex­plained.

Un­der the law, a re­signed gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial can only work in the pri­vate sec­tor a year af­ter his res­ig­na­tion. Since Domingo’s res­ig­na­tion will take ef­fect end De­cem­ber this yet, he can re­join the pri­vate sec­tor on Jan­uary 1, 2017 yet in­stead of Novem­ber 1, 2016.

“But don’t think of the end, think of it’s like 5 years and 3 months plus one year that’s long. I am the long­est DTI sec­re­tary ever,” said the 61-year-old DTI chief. When he was ap­pointed as DTI Sec­re­tary, Domingo was per­ceived as a bench warmer, but he ended up al­most com­plet­ing his tour of duty and even be­com­ing DTI’s long­est serv­ing sec­re­tary. When pressed what he will do af­ter De­cem­ber 31, Domingo said “I have one year to think about it.”

But why in the mid­dle of the coun­try’s host­ing of the 2015 APEC?

Domingo ex­plained that his of­fi­cial func­tion at APEC will be over soon with only the APEC SME Min­is­te­rial Meet­ing left this com­ing Sept. 20-25. Com­pleted APEC events in which DTI was the point per­son in­clude APEC Trade Min­is­ters meet­ing in Boracay and the on­go­ing APEC Women Sum­mit. The SME Min­is­te­rial to be held in Iloilo next month is the only meet­ing left on the DTI plate.

“All the min­is­te­rial meet­ings in Novem­ber are all un­der the Depart­ment of For­eign Af­fairs,” Domingo stressed.

The eco­nomic lead­ers meet­ing will start on Novem­ber 17-19 with the cul­mi­na­tion of the APEC 21 Lead­ers Sum­mit on the 18th and 19th. Most of the lead­ers are leav­ing on the 20th.

Domingo is among Pres­i­dent Aquino’s core Cab­i­net mem­bers who re­mained in their posts up to this time. Some have left to launch their po­lit­i­cal plans for next year.

But this has been Domingo’s sec­ond wave at gov­ern­ment ser­vice. The first time was a short and for­get­table stint. He was DTI Un­der­sec­re­tary be­ing the man­ag­ing head of the Board of In­vest­ments, the in­vest­ments pro­mo­tions arm of DTI, dur­ing the term of then DTI Sec­re­tary and now pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Mar Roxas. Un­known to many, Domingo helped Roxas in the pro­mo­tion of the call cen­ter sec­tor. (BCM)

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