Duterte appoints experts to DICT, MECO, NAPC

President Rodrigo R. Duterte has announced the appointments of Atty. Rodolfo Salalima as Secretary of the newly-created Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT), Angelito Banayo as Chairman and CEO of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO), and Liza Masa as Lead Convenor of the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC).

Duterte said “an information technology expert, an activist advocating the rights of the poor, and a long-time government servant are among the experts in their respective fields who have joined my Cabinet.”

Salalima was a former executive of Globe Telecom Inc. who served as the company’s chief legal counsel and as senior vice president for corporate and regulatory affairs until his retirement in 2008.  A full-blooded alumnus of San Beda College, he graduated magna cum laude in AB Philosophy and cum laude in Bachelor of Laws. He has over 40 years of experience in the telecommunications industry, including stints in Bayan Telecommunications Inc. and Radio Communications of the Philippines Inc. He represented the country’s ICT industry as Asia Pacific representative and vice chair of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) council working group, which crafted the amendments to the ITU constitution and convention in Geneva, Switzerland.

Banayo is a veteran in government service, having served as Postmaster General, Philippine Tourism Authority Administrator, and National Food Authority Administrator. He was instrumental in the creation of the Philippine Postal Corporation and instituted reforms aimed at reducing employee pilferage. He initiated the probe on corruption activities in the postal service, and the one-way mirrors at the Manila International Airport Distribution Center was his brainchild. He grew up in Butuan City, Agusan del Norte where his family had moved in the 1960s. Later he studied economics at the Colegio de San Juan de Letran Manila, then went on to the Ateneo Graduate School of Business and the University of the Philippines College of Public Administration. He will now head MECO, the Philippines’ representative office in Taiwan, that functions as a de facto embassy in the absence of diplomatic relations.

Masa is the former Gabriela Partylist Representative in the House of Representatives. She is a staunch advocate for the protection of the welfare of the poor and marginalized. As a legislator, she authored 53 bills and 120 resolutions in the 13th and 14th Congress. As co-author, her initiatives which were passed into law include the Rent Control Act of 2009, Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006, Magna Carta for Women, Philippine Nursing Act, Anti-Torture Law, Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003, and Anti-Violence against Women and Children Act. Having honed her passion for public service and activism through integration with urban poor women and workers since her days as a student leader at the University of the Philippines, she brought issues from the grassroots to the frontlines of rallies and picket-lines, and to the halls of Congress.