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LIST: Cabinet appointments to the Marcos Jr. administration

By PhilSTAR L!fe Published May 23, 2022 12:58 pm Updated Jul 14, 2022 2:06 pm

The incoming Marcos Jr. administration has been gradually assembling the country’s next set of cabinet secretaries.

Here are the personalities who have been tapped to be a part of the cabinet of the country's 17th president, Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr.

Erwin Tulfo, DSWD secretary
Erwin Tulfo's Facebook page

Broadcaster Erwin Tulfo has been named as the new Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) secretary.
Tulfo is a news anchor currently working with the state-owned People’s Television Network on their flagship primetime news program Ulat Bayan. 
The radio and TV host is the brother of fellow broadcasters Ben, Ramon, incoming senator Raffy, and former tourism secretary Wanda Corazon Teo.
The broadcaster formerly hosted Tutok Tulfo, T3: Kapatid Sagot Kita!, Aksyon, and Mission-X.
In 2018, Tulfo faced controversy after the Commission on Audit found that his sister Wanda directed the placement of P60 million in tourism ads to Kilos Pronto, a show hosted by Erwin and Ben. She said she “did not know” her brothers were running the show. Eventually, Teo’s lawyer Ferdinand Topacio said the money will be returned to the government, but no such thing happened as Ben Tulfo insisted the contract has already been fulfilled.
In 2019, Tulfo went on an on-air tirade against Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Bautista after the latter refused to do an interview with him. He later apologized for the “excessive ranting.”
“Una sa lahat, Salamat sa Diyos. Maraming salamat kay President-elect Bongbong Marcos sa tiwala. Alam ko na maraming trabaho ang naghihintay sa DSWD,” he said on May 30.
“Ang tanging maipapangako ko lamang ay sisikapin ko na matugunan ang mga pangangailangan ng ating mga kababayang mahihirap at nangangailangan.”

Christina Garcia Frasco, Tourism secretary
Christina Garcia Frasco's Facebook page

Reelected Liloan, Cebu Mayor Christina Frasco will serve as the secretary of the Department of Tourism (DOT) under the Marcos Jr. administration.

Frasco is the spokesperson of vice president-elect Sara Duterte-Carpio. She's also the daughter of Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, who also won another term.

With Frasco's appointment, vice mayor-elect Aljew Frasco—the cousin of her husband Cebu 5th District Rep. Duke Frasco—is expected to take over the mayoral duties in Liloan, Cebu in accordance with the Local Goverment Code.

Ivan John Enrile Uy, DICT Secretary

Atty. Ivan John Enrile Uy is set to take the reins as the secretary of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).

Uy previously served as the chairman of the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) under the administration of the late former president, Benigno  Aquino III.

He also once served as the corporate secretary of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce.

Naida Angping, Presidential Management Staff
Naida Angping's Facebook page

Naida Angping is set to lead the Presidential Management Staff (PMS).

A good friend and ally of Marcos Jr., Angping previously worked as the representative of the 3rd district of Manila for three terms. She also spent some time providing technical assistance for the Office of the Governor of Leyte.

Angping will head the president’s primary technical arm that provides staff studies and recommendations to serve as basis for decision-making and policy formulation.

Amenah Pangandaman, Budget Secretary

Department of Budget and Management's Facebook Page

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Asst. Governor Amenah Pangandaman has been named as the Department Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary.

Pangandaman currently works at the central bank under Gov. Benjamin Diokno, who was named the next secretary of the Department of Finance. She also previously served as the former Usec. and Assistant Usec. of DBM before moving on to BSP in 2021.

Prior to the posts, Pangandaman was the Chief of Staff under the late Senate President Edgardo Angara from 2007 to 2013.

Pangandaman graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Far Eastern University. She obtained her master’s in Development Economics from the University of the Philippines.

Benjamin Diokno, Finance secretary

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Gov. Benjamin Diokno will be leading the Marcos Jr. administration's economic team as the next secretary of the Department of Finance (DOF).

“I am grateful and humbled by the trust given to me by the President-elect to help his administration manage the country’s fiscal affairs,” Diokno said in a statement in accepting the position May 26.

Diokno, who will succeed Carlos Dominguez III as DOF secretary, was a former economics professor at the University of the Philippines.

Before his stint as BSP governor, Diokno served as secretary of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) from 2016 to 2019 under the Duterte administration.

He also served as a DBM official under two administrations before: Cory Aquino's undersecretary for DBM's Budget Operations (1986 to 1991) and Erap Estrada's budget secretary (1998 to 2001) before his ouster.

BSP Monetary Board Member Felipe Medalla will succeed Diokno as the central bank's chief. Diokno will still be part of the seven-member board.

Alfredo Pascual, DTI Secretary

Alfredo Pascual has been tapped to head the Department of Trade and Industry under the Marcos Jr. administration.

The president-elect announced that the new DTI chief has accepted his offer in a press conference on Thursday, May 26. 

The new DTI secretary previously expressed his hope for Marcos Jr. to form a “cohesive” team under his administration. “It is important that his team is a cohesive team. Otherwise, if it’s complete strangers surrounding him, it would be a difficult situation for the new president,” he said in a previous interview on ABS-CBN News Channel.

“So I guess the presidency of Mr. Marcos will really focus initially on addressing these problems but in the end, he had to pay attention to the longer-term of challenges that the country faces in order to achieve sustained growth.”

Pascual, the current president of the Management Association of the Philippines, is a finance expert and international development banker. He is the CEO of the Institute for Corporate Directors, a non-government organization that champions good governance in the private sector.

He worked for the University of the Philippines as its president between 2011 and 2017.

Manuel “Manny” Bonoan, Department of Public Works and Highways secretary

Marcos Jr. confirmed that Bonoan, who is the president and CEO of San Miguel Corp. Tollways, will be the secretary of DPWH at a press conference with select media on Thursday, May 26. 

“I’m intending to nominate Manny Bonoan for Department of Public Works and Highways. He spent almost his entire professional life in the DPWH. I know him very well, I know he will do a good job,” Marcos Jr. said.

Bonoan will take over the seat of incumbent DPWH secretary Roger Mercado, who succeeded senator-elect Mark Villar after he announced his candidacy for senator in October 2021.

An engineer, Bonoan previously served as the assistant secretary of the Ramos administration and undersecretary under the Estrada and Arroyo Administration.

SMC Tollways currently owns the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Expressway (NAIAX), South Luzon Expressway (SLEX), Skyway, Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX), and Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR).

Anton Lagdameo Jr., Special Assistant to the President

@aflagdameo's Instagram

Marcos Jr. has chosen former lawmaker Anton Lagdameo Jr. as his Special Assistant to the President.

"We've known each other since he was a child, hindi na ko child noon. He was young, he knows me very well, he's been with us working for me for the past ten years," Marcos Jr. said in a press briefing.

The president-elect said it would be an “easy position” for his close friend since they have known each other already for many years.

Lagdameo served as Davao del Norte 2nd district Rep. for three terms from 2007 to 2016. 

He graduated in 1989 from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor's degree in business administration, and in 1998 received a master's degree in Business Economics from the University of Asia and the Pacific.

He is a member of the affluent Floirendo dynasty in Southern Mindanao and is married to actress Dawn Zulueta. Lagdameo is a grandson of "banana king" Antonio Floirendo Sr., one of Ferdinand Marcos' known cronies.

Trixie Cruz-Angeles, Press secretary

Trixie Cruz-Angeles blogspot page

Lawyer and outspoken vlogger Trixie Cruz-Angeles will be Marcos Jr.’s press secretary and will head the Presidential Communications Office (PCOO).

“I am grateful for the opportunity I am given to take part in the administration of President Bongbong Marcos as his Press Secretary,” she said in a statement.

“It is with humility that I accept the nomination and assume the responsibility of running the affairs of the PCOO,” added Cruz-Angeles.

According to Marcos Jr.’s spokesperson Vic Rodriguez, her primary task as press secretary is “to oversee the operations of the PCOO, which includes the conduct of regular press briefings to media practitioners covering Malacañang activities.”

Cruz-Angeles spent some time as a spokesperson of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and legal counsel for the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.

She also previously worked as a social media strategist for the PCOO between 2017 and 2018.

Cruz-Angeles has also been known as a radio show host and a pro-Duterte vlogger.

In 2016, the Supreme Court suspended Cruz-Angeles from practicing law for 3 years. The high court said she and law partner Wylie Paler violated passages in the lawyer's code of conduct against dishonest practices, neglect of legal matters entrusted to them, and accountability for a client’s money. The lawyer’s client alleged paying P350,000 for their services but said no petition for the annulment was produced. Cruz-Angeles  disputed the charge and maintained she performed her duty as a lawyer to her client.

Arsenio Balisacan, NEDA director-general

Official Gazette

Arsenio Molina Balisacan is set to return to his former seat as the country's socioeconomic planning secretary.

An economist by profession, Balisacan first headed the National Economic Development Authority in May 2012 under the late former president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III. He left NEDA in Jan. 2016 after he was tasked then by Aquino to chair the newly formed Philippine Competition Commission under the Aquino administration. 

Marcos Jr. said that he previously worked with the economist when he was governor of Ilocos Norte.

“I've worked with him extensively at the time when I was governor, we have very similar thinking in that regard kaya't malakas ang loob ko (I am confident), I know he's very competent, I know his policies are policies that will be for the betterment of our country," the presumptive president said about Balisacan.

Prior to his previous Cabinet appointment, Balisacan was a professor and dean at the University of the Philippines School of Economics. 

Balisacan has also served at the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) as its Director-Chief Executive, as well as the Department of Agriculture as an Undersecretary for Policy and Planning.

The forthcoming NEDA chief holds a bachelor's degree in agriculture from the Mariano Marcos State University, a master of science degree in agricultural economics from the University of the Philippines Los Baños, and a doctorate degree in economics from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He was also a research fellow at the East-West Center in Honolulu and an economist at the World Bank in Washington, D.C. prior to joining the UP faculty.

Toots Ople, Department of Migrant Workers secretary

Susan Ople / Facebook

Susan “Toots” Ople has decided to accept Marcos Jr.’s offer to lead the Department of Migrant Workers.
Ople on Wednesday, May 18 confirmed the presumptive president’s intention to have her as head of the newly formed department.
“He [Marcos Jr.] spoke about the need to get the new department up and running, and for it to care for our OFWs and also develop programs for their families especially the children of migrant workers,” said Ople.
The Department of Migrant Workers was created after President Rodrigo Duterte signed on Dec. 20, 2021 the “Department of Migrant Workers Act.” The cabinet-level agency aims to further strengthen the protection of rights and the promotion of welfare of the country’s migrant workers.
“I am now in a process of discernment and consultations because I am aware of the enormity of the task and the challenges involved,” she said at the time.
She is the founder and president of non-profit organization Ople Center, which “assists overseas Filipino workers, especially those who experienced severe exploitation and/or human trafficking.”
Ople, the daughter of late Senator Blas Ople, worked as the undersecretary for the Department of Labor and Employment between 2004 and 2009. The late Blas Ople was the Minister of Labor of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr.

Bienvenido Laguesma, Labor secretary

Bienvenido Laguesma has accepted the role to helm the Department of Labor and Employment.
Laguesma had served as DOLE Secretary under the Joseph Estrada administration from 1998 to 2001. Prior to the position, he served two years as the Presidential Assistant of ex-President Fidel V. Ramos from 1996 to 1998.
After leaving DOLE, he was tapped by former president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III in 2011 as Chairman of the Social Security System’s Audit Committee. In 2013, he became a board member of the SSS.
When not serving in politics, Laguesma practices law as a senior partner for a private law office and sits in the Board of Directors of First Metro Investment Corporation and the Charter Ping Insurance Corporation.
As incoming DOLE secretary, he is tasked with boosting the job market and protecting workers’ welfare as the economy reopens amid the COVID-19 pandemic. A May 2022 report by the Philippine Statistics Authority found that 2.87 million Filipinos were jobless in March, faring better than the 3.13 million unemployed in February.
Laguesma graduated with a degree in AB Political Science degree from Lyceum of the Philippines University and attained his Master’s from Ateneo De Manila Law School.

Boying Remulla, Justice secretary

Jesus Crispin "Boying" Remulla has accepted the offer to be secretary of the Department of Justice (DOJ) under Marcos Jr.'s administration.

"I accepted it. It's an honor to serve the country in that capacity," Remulla told reporters in an online press conference May 23, pointing out that he didn't apply for the job.

Remulla was reelected as Cavite's 7th district representative in an unopposed bid. Winning candidates aren't subject to an appointment ban. He said there must be a caretaker for the congressional seat he will vacate, if not hold a special election for the post.

As incoming DOJ secretary, he will be among those at the helm of the Anti-Terrorism Council under the controversial anti-terrorism law, in charge of assessing whether individuals and organizations are terrorists.

Remulla drew flak when Vice President Leni Robredo held a campaign rally in Cavite last March 4. With a record 47,000 attendees at the time, Remulla disputed the numbers, claiming that some attendees were given P500 each—even red-tagging some as members of communist groups.

Remulla is part of Cavite's powerful Remulla clan, who are known as staunch supporters of Marcos. Cavite also served as one of the biggest campaign rally sites of the UniTeam. Remulla was also among the congressmen who voted in 2020 not to renew the ABS-CBN's franchise.

Benhur Abalos, Interior secretary

Benhur Abalos / Facebook

Benhur Abalos is the incoming secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) of the Marcos Jr. cabinet.

Rodriguez announced Abalos's appointment at a press conference in Mandaluyong, the Abalos clan's bailiwick, last May 13.

"At this time when there is a strong call for our nation's unity, the DILG plays a paramount role in promoting peace and order and in bringing together our local government units," Abalos said in a statement in accepting the role.

"Rest assured that I will do my utmost to foster thriving, peaceful communities throughout our beloved country."

Abalos served as the presumptive president's national campaign manager, after retiring as Metro Manila Development Authority chairman last February.

Before taking over MMDA, Abalos was mayor of Mandaluyong from 1998 to 2004 and from 2007 to 2016. In between these terms, he served as Mandaluyong representative from 2004 to 2007.

Marcos Jr. also tapped Abalos as campaign manager for Metro Manila during his vice presidential bid in 2016, where he lost to Leni Robredo.

Vic Rodriguez, Executive secretary

Jesse Bustos / The Philippine STAR

Marcos Jr. spokesman Vic Rodriguez has accepted his nomination as executive secretary of the Marcos Jr. administration.

“Who can say no to President-elect Bongbong Marcos? It is an honor working with him, whom I have known for a very long time and I believe will serve the country efficiently and with unquestioned devotion,” said Rodriguez in a statement.

Rodriguez has been one of the prominent faces of the Marcos Jr. campaign as spokesman, defending the and explaining for the candidate during several key junctures in the past.

In a recent incident, Rodriguez ignored questions from a Rappler reporter during a May 11 press conference, raising concerns of how the incoming administration will deal with the press, even as the spokesman said media relations will improve.

He took up law at the University of Santo Tomas and has been the president of the Quezon City Trial Lawyers League.

Sara Duterte-Carpio, Education secretary

Presidential Communications

Presumptive vice president Sara Duterte-Carpio as the next Education secretary was the first confirmed appointment for the incoming Marcos Jr. administration.

No less than presumptive president Marcos Jr. himself announced Duterte-Carpio’s appointment. In his first brief media address after claiming victory in the elections, Marcos Jr. said that Duterte-Carpio has already accepted to handle the Education portfolio.

It has been rumored that Duterte-Carpio will handle the Defense portfolio, but in a statement, the outgoing Davao City mayor said being Education secretary will be better for the administration.

“Before the campaign, we talked about the Department of National Defense. But seeing the way things are at the moment, I expect that people who want to see the new administration to fail will fabricate intrigues about my loyalty and the DND position to break the UniTeam,” she said in a statement.

When asked what is the qualification of Duterte-Carpio to be Education secretary, the Marcos camp said she is a lawyer who enjoys the trust of the Filipino voters who voted for her.

Duterte-Carpio has said she will make military service mandatory for Filipinos aged 18 and up if she gets elected.

Prof. Clarita Carlos, National Security Adviser

Marcos Jr. has appointed political analyst and retired UP Professor Clarita Carlos to be the next National Sexurity Adviser.

According to Marcos Jr.'s spokesman Vic Rodriguez, Carlos went on a two-hour meeting with the presumptive president on Wednesday, June 8 at the BBM headquarters in Mandaluyong City.

Carlos was a panelist at the SMNI Debates last February. She previously served as president of the National Defense College of the Philippines.

Rep. Conrado Estrella III, Department of Agrarian Reform Secretary

Meanwhile, ABONO Partylist Rep. Conrado Estrella have decided to join the Cabinet of President-elect Marcos Jr.

Estrella joined the same meeting Marcos Jr. arranged with Carlos and was named the head of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).

Estrella served as representative of the 6th district of Pangasinan for 17 years, and became Deputy Speaker in the 18th Congress.

Juan Ponce Enrile, Presidential legal counsel
Facebook/Juan Ponce Enrile

Veteran politician Juan Ponce Enrile is taking a seat in the Cabinet as Presidential Legal Counsel.

The 98-year-old lawyer and former senator has been known for his close ties with the late Ferdinand Marcos Sr. as Justice Secretary and Defense Minister during his regime. Enrile has also served as the administrator of Martial Law, from its planning to spearheading the Philippine Military's operations.

He was later considered one of the heroes of the 1986 EDSA People Power revolution for withdrawing his support from Marcos and upending the government. 

Enrile represented the First District of Cagayan in the House of Representatives for three years. He held office in the Senate for four terms or 24 years and served as its president from 2008 to 2013.

The former senator was briefly jailed in July 2014 for allegedly pocketing P172 million from public funds. He was released on bail in August 2015 due to poor health and old age.

Jaime Bautista, Transportation secretary
Facebook/Philippine Airlines

Jaime Bautista, former president of flag carrier Philippine Airlines, is Marcos Jr.'s pick for the Department of Transportation portfolio, according to incoming executive secretary Vic Rodriguez.

Bautista told reporters that he already accepted the role. He will oversee the country's transportation woes amid the skyrocketing of fuel prices against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A certified public accountant, Bautista took up commerce at the Colegio de San Juan de Letran and graduated magna cum laude in 1977.

After a 15-year term at PAL, Bautista became part of Belle, Premium Leisure, Nickel Asia, Cosco Capital, Philippine Bank of Communications, Alphaland, Airspeed International, and Gothong Southern Shipping Lines.

Enrique Manalo, foreign affairs secretary

Philippine Mission to the United Nations in New York

Veteran diplomat Enrique Manalo will serve as the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) secretary under the Marcos Jr. administration

State-run Philippine News Agency tweeted a photo of Manalo taking his oath before President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. in Malacañang on July 1.

Press secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said Manalo asked Marcos Jr. "for a few days to wind up affairs in his previous post" as Permanent Representative to the United Nations.

Manalo obtained his bachelor's and master's degree in economics at the University of the Philippines Manila. His diplomacy career spans over four decades, beginning in 1979.

Manalo had a brief stint as DFA acting secretary for two months in 2017, when the Commission on Appointments rejected the ad interim appointment of the late Perfecto Yasay Jr.

He previously served as DFA undersecretary for policy under the Arroyo, Aquino III, and Duterte administrations. He's also a former Philippine ambassador to the United Kingdom and Belgium, as well as head of the Philippine Mission to the European Union.

Manalo's parents are also ambassadors.

Raphael Perpetuo Lotilla, energy secretary nominee

Raphael Lotilla is expected to return to his post as energy chief after 17 years since holding the position from 2005 to 2007 under the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. 

The appointment was announced by Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles on Monday, July 11. However, in a separate statement, Angeles noted that Lotilla’s designation remains a nomination given his yet-to-be clarified employment status. 

Lotilla is currently the independent director in Aboitiz Power and ENEXOR. He was the president of the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM) and briefly served as undersecretary and deputy director-general of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) from 1996 to 2004. 

He was also one of the executives who crafted the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 (Republic Act 9136) during his term as supervising official of the secretariat of the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC). 

Apart from his psychology and history undergraduate degrees, Lotilla has a Master of Laws degree earned from the University of Michigan Law School. He then started as an assistant law professor at the University of the Philippines in 1985 after Bar admissions. Ten years later, he was appointed a Professor in Law.  

Before his government stints, Lotilla practiced as a legal consultant in the Senate and the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.

Maria Rosario Vergeire, DOH officer-in-charge

Maria Rosario Vergeire will serve as the officer-in-charge of the Department of Health during the Marcos Jr. administration.

Press Sec. Trixie Cruz-Angeles said President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. is still looking for the next DOH chief, two weeks since he assumed office on June 30.

As DOH undersecretary, Vergeire is also the agency's spokesperson who faces the media in virtual press briefings over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement, the DOH said it appreciates Marcos Jr.'s confidence in Vergeire. “Each and every member of the DOH family shall work together to continue the gains instituted by previous administrations," it said. "We look forward to continuing our recovery from the pandemic, and working towards universal health care for all Filipinos."

Mel Robles, PCSO general manager nominee

Mel Robles was nominated as the next general manager of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office. Robles was a former administrator of the Light Rail Transit Authority.

Prior to his LRTA stint, he was also a board member of the Intercontinental Broadcasting Corporation.

Robles and 12 LRTA employees previously faced a P12 million graft case over an alleged anomalous implementation of P400 million maintenance and janitorial contract. Sandiganbayan dismissed the case in 2019 for lack of evidence.