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MANILA, Philippines – Former socioeconomic planning secretary Cayetano "Dondon" Paderanga Jr died on Friday, January 29. He was 67.
In a statement released on Saturday, January 30, Malacañang mourned the death of Paderanga, and cited his significant contributions to national development.
"During his time as NEDA Chief under President Benigno S. Aquino III, he helped reinvigorate the institution which he had also headed during the term of President Corazon C. Aquino. Under his watch the PPP Center was established, which has played a significant role in the revitalization of the economy," said Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda.
The Palace official added that Paderanga's "institutional memory and personal integrity made him an effective undersecretary of Agriculture and chief negotiator of the country for the WTO, and earned him the respect of his peers in academe."
"His good cheer, humble disposition, and intellectual rigor earned him the respect of so many, whether at home or abroad. We condole with his family, and join all who pause to reflect on his service to the nation during a life well lived," Lacierda said.
NEDA Deputy Director General Emmanuel Esguerra confirmed in a text message on Saturday that Paderanga had passed away, but declined to give details.
Paderanga reportedly died of complications of a triple bypass surgery at St Luke's Medical Center Global City in Taguig, according to a Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) project manager who asked not be named, as he is not authorized to give official statements on the matter.
Butch Garcia, a cousin of Paderanga's wife, said in his Facebook page that Paderanga died on Friday at 11:55 pm.
"Dondon, my friend, left us at 11:55 Manila time, or 7:55 am pacific standard time, today the 29th of January 2016. He was 67. His suffering is done. For those of us who knew him, let us cry for ourselves, our loss, say a prayer, then celebrate his all too short life and all the good and happiness that he shared," Garcia shared in his Facebook post.
"Most people knew him in an official capacity, he served two presidents in a Cabinet position, was a member of the Monetary Board of the central bank...However, at every opportunity, he went back to teach economics at the University of the Philippines. He was a teacher at heart, beloved by his students," said Garcia.
Paderanga, served as the first National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Director-General of the Aquino administration. He also served as the chairman of DAP's Board of Trustees since 2012.
He resigned less than two years into the job, citing health reasons, and was replaced by Arsenio Balisacan.
Paderanga was also NEDA chief during the administration of Aquino's mother, President Corazon Aquino.
He was a member of the Monetary Board from 1993 to 1999, and executive director for the Philippines in the Asian Development Bank from 2001 to 2003.
Paderanga was a professor of economics at the University of the Philippines. – Rappler.com