PASAY CITY— On Wednesday, 1 February 2023, the Commission on Appointments (CA) led by Chairperson Ferjenel G. Biron, has officially confirmed the ad interim appointment of Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Fred Pascual. 

During the session, Representative Johnny T. Pimentel has established his full confidence towards the Secretary and said that he is physically and intellectually capable and ready to steer the Department into greater heights.  

Representative Jose Gay Padiernos also asked Secretary Pascual of his plans on connecting the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) with private financers to help them sustain their businesses, to which, the Secretary responded “tayo ay nasa DTI ngunit mayroon tayong isang attached agency, ‘yung SBCorp., sila ‘yung may mga programa na nagbibigay ng financing sa mga maliliit na negosyante. Mayroon silang loans na binibigay, noong nakaraang pandemya mayroon ding grant na binigay para ‘yung mga nagsara na negosyo ay makabangon muli.” 

For the past four decades, Secretary Pascual has actively contributed both in private sector and the academe, serving prominent institutions such as the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP), Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD), Asian Development Bank (ADB), University of the Philippines (UP), and Asian Institute of Management (AIM). Likewise, his past board memberships included non-profits and other organizations such as the Philippine Institute of Development Studies (PIDS), International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Institute for Solidarity in Asia, and Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (FINEX) among others. 

Further, from 2011 to 2017, he was President and Co-Chair of the University of the Philippines (UP) – a system of eight constituent universities with 17 campuses across the country. He implemented bold initiatives and programs to transform UP into a research-intensive university, raised its profile as a global university, and strengthened its capabilities as a leading public service university. He also modernized its physical and cyber infrastructure, initiated its digital transformation, and strengthened its financial sustainability.  

Over the past few months, Secretary Pascual has also accompanied President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr during his previous Presidential Visits where the DTI in organized business meetings and pursue investment leads. He engaged with several investors, most of which are already at an advanced stage of discussion with the Board of Investments (BOI), which is also under the purview of the DTI Secretary. 

As the Secretary of DTI, Pascual’s main priorities are to help upskill and upsize MSMEs, usher them in digital transformation, promote ease of doing business to attract further investments, strengthen and develop the country’s export sector, implement an industrialization strategy driven by science, technology, and innovation, and promote consumer welfare and protection. *

Date of release: 01 February 2023