Karl Kendrick Chua, who had been acting socioeconomic planning secretary for a year, has been given a permanent appointment, Palace spokesman Harry Roque announced on Thursday.

The socioeconomic planning secretary is also the director general of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA).

Roque said the government was confident that Chua would “continuously and consistently perform well in his present but crucial task of jumpstarting our economic recovery amid the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Chua’s predecessor, Ernesto Pernia, resigned in April 2020 over disagreements with other members of the Duterte Cabinet.

Before his NEDA stint, the ex-World Bank economist was undersecretary of the Department of Finance under Secretary Carlos Dominguez III. John Ezekiel J. Hirro