The 42-year-old Purisima will replace former trade secretary Manuel Roxas II, who resigned last week to join the administration party’s senatorial slate in the May 2004 elections.
According to Presidential Spokesman Ignacio Bunye, Purisima was chosen "because of his integrity, professional competence and support to the development agenda of the Philippines."
Bunye could not say, however, when the official appointment paper will be signed and when the oath-taking will take place.
"But he is officially on board already," he said.
Purisima’s appointment was welcomed by the business community, which had endorsed his nomination to the President. His name was also in the "shor tlist" submitted by Roxas to Mrs. Arroyo as possible successor to his DTI post.
Actively involved in business councils, Purisima is chairman of the Philippines-France Business Council and co-chair of the Philippines-Thailand Business Council. He is also a member of the Philippines-Japan Economic Cooperation Committee, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA), the Rotary Club of Manila and the Management Association of the Philippines.
Purisima graduated from De La Salle University with a degree in Commerce and earned his MBA from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management of Northwestern University.
Purisima’s first order of the day in his new post is a probe on the growing complaints of consumers on the jacking up of prices of chicken and meat products in the wet markets and groceries with the onset of the Christmas season.
His predecessor has also been known to personally inspect wet markets to monitor prices of basic consumer goods.
Meanwhile, Bunye disclosed that Justice Secretary Simeon Datumanong would be the next member of the Arroyo Cabinet to resign.
He said Datumanong, who will also run in next year’s elections, will still attend the Cabinet meeting at the Palace on Monday but will submit his resignation to Mrs. Arroyo later in the day, after which he will file his certificate of candidacy at the Commission on Elections. — With AFP
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
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