Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III declined to accept an award as “Finance Minister of the Year” for East Asia Pacific from a joint publication of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
An official of the Finance Department said Dominguez, the leader of the government’s economic team, did not want to receive the award from the GlobalMarkets, the newspaper of the International Monetary Fund/World Bank Annual Meeting in October, because the finance chief was just “performing” his job as a member of the present administration.
The GlobalMarkets said it chose Dominguez as the Finance Minister of the Year for East Asia Pacific region because of his efforts in pushing for the comprehensive tax reform program that was expected to further boost economic growth.
Marc Gregory Crisostomo, head executive assistant of the Office of the Finance Secretary, said in a letter to GlobalMarkets managing editor Toby Fildes that Dominguez was grateful for being chosen from among a group of distinguished finance ministers in the region.
“Thank you for noting the efforts of the Department of Finance to pass the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program and to usher in the Golden Age of Infrastructure of the Philippines. The Secretary is not alone in this fight for a more inclusive economy,” Crisostomo said.
Crisostomo quoted Dominguez as saying that the Cabinet worked hard under the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“Thus, it is with deep regret that Secretary Dominguez declines the honor of this award as he is just performing his duties as the Secretary of Finance. As he always tells his staff, the development of the nation is a team effort,” the letter stated.
Fildes, in recognizing Dominguez, said the Filipino finance chief had barely stood still since being appointed finance minister by Duterte in July 2016.
“A five-pronged tax bill passed by the lower house and currently wending its way through the Senate, is the most ambitious reform package in decades,” Fildes said in a letter to Dominguez.
“Add in the ambition and the will to ratchet up debt and tap development banks and agencies to pay for the kind of quality infrastructure the Philippines needs, you are a man with a lot to do--and the ability and the desire to get it done,” Fildes said.
Fildes invited Dominguez on Oct.14, 2017 to personally accept the award in a ceremony at The Willard InterContinental Hotel in Washington, D.C.
Fildes said Dominguez “well deserved” the award.
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