Trade assures no Apec disruptions

The Trade Department on Wednesday assured the nation that no disruption will occur during the last few meetings of the Asia Pacific Economic Conference being hosted by the Philippines, after the country’s chief official and Apec point man Trade secretary Gregory Domingo resigned from his post.

“All the major work in Apec has been worked out already. Except for the women and micro, small and medium enterprises summit this week and next, the last major event in November is fully accounted for,” Trade Undersecretary Ponciano Manalo told reporters Tuesday at the sidelines of an awarding ceremony at the Midas Hotel in Pasay City.

The concluding event on Apec Economic Leader’s meeting is set on November 18 to 19, 2015.

Manalo read Domingo’s speech after the trade secretary excused himself from the event because of a sudden attack of gout the previous night.

Domingo still has a number of events to attend to but his co-officials could not say if he would remain a “no-show” until his resignation took effect.

Manalo said Domingo, who tendered his resignation last week, cannot officially leave office pending the approval of President Benigno Aquino III  of his request to resign.

“There will be no vacuum. The secretary continues minding his job at the department since, according to news, his resignation is due next month. But he still needs to discuss that with the President,” Manalo said.

Domingo said in his resignation letter that he was tired of working in the government for several years.

Domingo said in a text message President Aquino informed that many Cabinet members thought he should “stay on until Apec.”

He said he was still open to adjusting the date of the effectivity of his resignation and would soon discuss the issue with President Aquino.

President Aquino has asked Domingo to stay on until the end of the year and finish the Apec meetings in the country.

“Well, actually, Secretary Domingo has informed me earlier that he wanted to go back to the private sector. We will be talking sometime this week. He has submitted his resignation letter but the date of effectivity is not yet confirmed,” said Aquino during a media interview Monday at the Iloilo Convention Center in Iloilo City.

“He might finish the APEC [meetings] until the end of the year. But, again, we will talk this week. I have asked his recommendation on who will replace him,” said Aquino.

Malacanang confirmed only last Saturday Domingo’s resignation.

Domingo had served as managing director and treasurer of Chase Manhattan Bank in Manila and executive director of SM Investments Corp. before he assumed his post.

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