Last modified on August 1, 2023.


National Economic and Development Authority

Dr. Arsenio Balisacan is an economist with extensive development policy, governance, and administration expertise acquired from over 35 years of professional work as a government official, non-governmental organization executive, economic adviser, researcher, professor, and consultant for numerous development agencies and intergovernmental organizations.

A former economics professor at the University of the Philippines for three decades, Dr. Balisacan is presently a Cabinet member of the Philippine Government, serving as Secretary of the National Economic and Development Authority, a post he had previously held from 2012 to 2016. He also served as the inaugural Chairperson and chief executive of the Philippine Competition Commission from 2016 to 2022.

In his current role as NEDA Secretary, he concurrently chairs the governing boards of various state agencies, including the Philippine Statistics Authority, Philippine Institute for Development Studies, Public-Private Partnership Center, Development Academy of the Philippines, Commission on Population and Development, and Philippine Center for Economic Development.

Before his initial Cabinet appointment in 2012, he was Dean of the University of the Philippines School of Economics, Director-Chief Executive of the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), and Undersecretary of the Department of Agriculture. Before joining the UP faculty in 1987, he was a research fellow at the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, and an economist at the World Bank in Washington, DC.

He has served in various capacities in many academic and professional organizations, including President of the Philippine Economic Society, President of the Asian Society of Agricultural Economists, Secretary-General of the Asia Pacific Agricultural Policy Forum, and Advisory Council member of the American Committee on Asian Economic Studies.

He has advised and consulted with numerous development agencies and multilateral institutions, including the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, OECD, ASEAN, and various United Nations agencies.

As an academic, he has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in development economics, resource and environmental economics, agricultural economics, international trade, industrial economics, and applied welfare economics.

He has authored and co-edited seven books and published close to 100 academic papers and book chapters covering wide areas of economic development, including poverty, inequality, human development, agricultural and rural development, and political economy of policy reforms in the Philippines and East Asia. His papers have appeared in, among others, Economics Letters (Elsevier), World Development (Elsevier), Review of World Economics (Springer), and Economic Development and Cultural Change (University of Chicago).

He was elected a lifelong member (Academician) of the National Academy of Science and Technology in 2008 for his research and other scholarly work in economics. He holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Hawaii, an MS in Agricultural Economics from the University of the Philippines Los Baños, and a BS in Agriculture (Magna Cum Laude) from the Mariano Marcos State University.