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Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Good afternoon to all of you,ladies and gentlemen. More than a month ago, I tendered my official resignationas Director General of NEDA to the President to take effect on the closinghours of August 16. That resignation has been accepted by the President.


I told the President in myresignation letter elective political opportunities lie on the horizon andafter much thought and discernment, I have decided to explore these but outsidethe podium and canopy that my present office provides. When I first ran thisline by some senior staff, they said that mere exploration of some politicaloptions is no ground for resignation. Actually, they are right because a dreamfor a public office is not punishable by law. And even if one starts preparingto run for office, civil service rules do not require him to give up hiscurrent post. The practice, then and now, is one can run an office and for anoffice at the same time.


But that may be possible in otheroffices, but not in NEDA, I believe. In my letter of resignation to thePresident, I thanked her for giving me the opportunity to serve the countrythrough a great agency whose admirable staff responded ably to the challengesof the times. Indeed, I could not have asked for a more professional andproficient staff than the ones who have warmly welcomed me here and, in myheart, I know that I will be dishonoring their dedication in public service ifI will be preoccupied with other matters other than leading them in their work.Heading the NEDA is a fulltime work. It does not need a leader who is a jobapplicant in disguise. Thus, I will be demeaning the people I have worked withand debasing their work ethic if I report to work with other things in mind.


I know that my resignation violates all the rules inthe playbook of political campaigns. It will automatically deprive me of thesoap box which will make me visible and the bullhorn which will allow me to beheard. Politicians are also supposed to run into the spotlight and here I amdoing the opposite by running away from it, by resigning. To retain mycredentials as a Nedan, I must step aside and give way to a new DG who willdedicate his every waking hour to the task at hand and not be distracted by anoffice yet to be won, thus my resignation.

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