Aquino wants DTI’s Domingo to stay until APEC summit

Chris Schnabel

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Aquino wants DTI’s Domingo to stay until APEC summit
Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo says his resignation date can be adjusted, as the President told him some Cabinet members think he should stay until the country concludes its Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings' hosting

MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III expressed hope that Gregory Domingo would consider extending his stay as Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) secretary until the country concludes its hosting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in November. (READ: Trade Secretary Domingo resigns – Palace)

Aquino also underlined the sacrifices that government officials endure and that he understood why some would want to return to the private sector. The President added that Domingo had expressed his wishes to return to the private sector a long time ago.

Nagpapasalamat ako kay Secretary Domingo na ‘yung kanyang pagpapalamna-extend nang na-extend at lalo na dahil mag-ho-host nga tayo ng APEC. So, wala pa kaming pinagkasaraduhang kung anong petsa pero ‘yung inaasahan ko sa kanya na talagang hindi niya tayo iiwan [dahil] matindi pa ang pangangailangan sa serbisyo niya,” the President said on Monday, September 14, in an interview following the inauguration of the Iloilo Convention Center. (I’m grateful to Secretary Domingo for constantly extending his stay, especially as we’re hosting APEC this year. So, we still don’t have a definite date for Domingo’s resignation but I hope that he won’t leave us while we still have a great need for his service).

Aquino said he and Domingo will talk later this week to decide on the effectivity date of his resignation.

“Mag-uusap kami sometime this week. Nag-submit na siya ng resignation pero ‘yung date ng effectivity ay hindi pa tiyak. Baka tatapusin muna ‘yung APEC, baka hanggang katapusan ng taon. Pero, again, mag-uusap kami this week,” the President said. (We’ll talk sometime this week. He submitted his resignation but the date of effectivity is still not set. Maybe he will finish APEC first. Maybe he will stay on until the end of the year. But again, we’ll discuss it this week).

Sought for comment, Domingo said via text message to Rappler on Monday afternoon that the President told him that some of the Cabinet members think that he should stay until the country concludes its Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings’ hosting.

“I told him (Aquino) we can adjust date. I will meet with the President soon to discuss the exact date,” Domingo said.

Role in APEC

Domingo has played a pivotal role in the series of APEC meetings leading up to the main meeting of country leaders, notably chairing the APEC Trade Ministers Meeting held in May in Boracay that produced the Boracay Action Agenda that seeks to help globalize micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

MSMEs have been a large part of the DTI’s focus for APEC and beyond, as it pushes its strategy of creating various industry roadmaps that identify parts of global value chains (GVC) that it can insert MSMEs into to drive their growth. (READ: Policy makers urged to help SMEs enter Global Value Chains)

The agency released its much-anticipated roadmap for the automotive industry dubbed the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) in June this year, and Domingo previously said that the DTI “should have close to 50 industry roadmaps by the middle of next year”. (READ: Despite SONA 2015 snub, small businesses still gov’t priority)

President Aquino thanked Domingo for his service, noting that under his watch, direct investments to the country grew by 600%.

“Our APEC hosting and so many other things have happened under his watch in DTI,” Aquino said. –

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