MANILA, Philippines – Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Assistant Governor Amenah Pangandaman is the next Department of Budget and Management (DBM) secretary, as she accepted the offer of president-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to join his Cabinet.
In a statement, Pangandaman said she will prioritize modernizing the budget system and incorporating sustainability in government spending as the budget chief.
“We will strive to ensure prudent and transparent use of public funds in a way that allows us to regain lost ground while also uplifting the lives of the ordinary Filipino,” she said.
Pangandaman is also the chief of staff of outgoing BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno at the central bank. Diokno will be heading the Department of Finance under the Marcos administration.
Pangandaman had served as a budget undersecretary during Diokno’s time as DBM chief. During that stint, she was the group head of the Office of the Secretary and was a “key mover” in the preparation, implementation, and monitoring of the General Appropriations Act or national budget.
At the height of the word war between Diokno and then-Camarines Sur congressman Rolando Andaya Jr. three years ago, Pangandaman was among those linked to P75 billion worth of alleged insertions in the 2019 budget bill. But Diokno defended the amount as “aboveboard,” while then-public works secretary Mark Villar denied that the adjustments were insertions. The P75 billion worth of projects were later removed and the funds were realigned.
Pangandaman previously served as chief of staff of former Senate president Edgardo Angara, and also worked with former Senate finance committee chairperson and now returning senator Loren Legarda.
She completed her economics degree at Far Eastern University. She also holds a diploma and master’s degree in development economics from the University of the Philippines. – Rappler.com