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Hon Ernesto Pernia

Socio-economic Planning Secretary and NEDA Director-General
Republic of the Philippines

Dr. Pernia has close to 18 years experience at the Asian Development Bank (ADB), starting as Economist, rising to Senior Economist, Principal Economist, and Lead Economist. He developed and directed projects in various Asian countries on investment climate and productivity, economic growth and poverty reduction, education and health, human resource development, and regional economic cooperation. He led staff and a dozen consultants that produced a seven-volume study on the “East ASEAN Growth Area: Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia. Philippines” (1996) – which provided the roadmap for the implementation of the landmark regional cooperation undertaking.

He also represented ADB at various international development conferences in North and Latin America, Europe and Africa, besides Asia. He has chaired the board of trustees of the University of San Carlos (2011-2014), having been a trustee since 2005; and was a director on the board of the Philippine-American Academy of Science and Engineering (2008-2013). Currently, he is on the board of Holy Name University (Tagbilaran). As well, he sits on the board of the Philippine-Russian Business Assembly, and previously on the board of the First Philec Solar Corporation.

Further, he serves on the boards of a number of NGOs, including the Philippine Center for Population and Development, Friendly Care Foundation, Forum for Family Planning and Development, Bahay Tuluyan, etc. variously involved in promoting quality education and healthcare, poverty reduction, improved governance, and science and technology. Dr. Pernia had been Professor of Economics and Chairman, Department of Economics at the UP School of Economics, and previously Director for Research. He was a Visiting Research Fellow at the East-West Center Resource Systems Institute in Honolulu, and was Regional Adviser on population and employment policy for Asia and the Pacific with the International Labour Organization. He has served as a consultant to various international organizations, including the World Bank and UN agencies.

He obtained his PhD degree from the University of California Berkeley on a Ford Foundation scholarship and a Smithsonian Institution dissertation grant. He was granted the Balik Scientist award by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). He received the first award as Outstanding Young Scientist (economics and social sciences) from the National Academy of Science and Technology. He is a former President of the Philippine Economic Society and Co-Chair of the Federation of ASEAN Economic Associations. He has written a number of books, numerous articles in international professional journals, and chapters of books. Dr. Pernia was chosen in February 2015 by the Philippine-American Academy of Science and Engineering (PAASE) for the Science Award. In March 2011, he received Achievement Award for social sciences from the National Research Council of the Philippines, DOST. In 2009, he was accorded The Outstanding Boholano Around the World award (economics). He is ranked 7th among 250 scientists in the Philippines according to Google Scholar Citations public profiles. He was an occasional contributor to the Philippine Daily Inquirer Op-Ed column, and previously to the BusinessWorld, and The Philippine Star Science section.

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