Finance Undersecretary for Fiscal Policy and Monitoring Group Cielo Magno has filed her resignation which will take effect on Sept. 16, 2023.
A source from the Department of Finance, on condition of anonymity, confirmed her resignation, although no further details were given.
Manila Standard tried to reach Magno through mobile call and text message but she did not respond.
Online reports said Magno was asked by Malacañang to resign. The Presidential Communications Office has yet to react to this development as of press time.
The reports said Magno’s apparent firing from the DOF was triggered by her Facebook post that allegedly criticized the imposition of a rice price ceiling.
On Facebook, Magno wrote: “A wise man told me, if you do your job with integrity, you will be back in UPSE soon,” referring to the University of the Philippines School of Economics.
Prior to that, Magno also posted on FB that “I miss teaching.” Magno told ABS-CBN News in an interview that she was grateful for the opportunity to serve the Filipino people, “but I think the academe will give me the flexibility I need to advocate for good policies.”
Before filing her resignation, Magno was active in discussions on the proposed reform of the military and uniformed personnel pension system. She also pushed for higher mining taxation. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. earlier approved the recommendation to impose mandated price ceilings on rice nationwide to ensure reasonably priced and conveniently accessible staple food to Filipinos amid the alarming increase in its retail prices in the market.
Executive Order No. 39, signed by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin on August 31, stated that President Marcos approved the joint recommendation of the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Trade of Industry to set price ceilings on rice in the country.
It was also issued following the sectoral meeting on August 29, where President Marcos was briefed about the status of government initiatives to ensure sufficient rice supply in the country.
Under EO 39, the mandated price ceiling for regular milled rice is P41 per kilogram while the mandated price cap for well-milled rice is P45 per kilogram.
As an Undersecretary, Magno oversaw the Fiscal Policy and Monitoring Group which is responsible for recommending fiscal policies, formulating tax reform proposals, as well as forecasting and programming national government revenues.
She was also the focal point person for the Philippine Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (PH-EITI), and the Chairperson of the Fiscal Incentives Review Board Technical Committee and the Inter-agency Investment Promotion Coordination Technical Committee.
Prior to being appointed to the DoF, Magno was an associate professor at the University of the Philippines’ School of Economics. She has more than 20 years of experience in research and policy work with the public and private sectors at local and international levels.
Her research and publications focus on public finance, institutional economics, environmental economics, health economics, and industry regulations.
Dr. Magno has broad experience working with governments, the private sector, and civil society. She was a member of the international board of the EITI representing civil society and an advisory committee member of the CONNEX Global Initiative. She also sat on the board of various civil society organizations.
She completed her master’s degree in Economics from the University of the Philippines’ School of Economics and a PhD in Law and Public Policy from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts as a Fulbright scholar.