By Arjay L. Balinbin, Reporter

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte has appointed former dean Claire Dennis S. Mapa of the University of the Philippines (UP) School of Statistics as the new National Statistician and head of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

Malacañang released to reporters on Tuesday copies of Mr. Mapa’s appointment paper, which Mr. Duterte signed on May 27.

Mr. Mapa, who will serve for a term of five years, replaces former National Statistician Lisa Grace S. Bersales, whose term ended on April 22.

The PSA is an attached agency of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

In a statement, NEDA said that among other projects, Mr. Mapa “will be taking over and spearheading the implementation and development of the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) Program, a landmark reform of the Duterte administration.”

“[Mr.] Mapa, who has extensively worked with government on population, economic growth, and poverty statistics research, was nominated by a Special Search Process Committee chaired by the Philippine Statistical Research and Training Institute (PSRTI) Executive Director, and composed of select officials from the NEDA, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman School of Statistics, and the UP Los Baños Institute of Statistics,” NEDA added.

Prior to his appointment, Mr. Mapa, according to NEDA, was “Statistics Professor and Dean at the UP School of Statistics for four years.”

Mr. Mapa also “served as Vice President and Executive Director of the UP Statistical Center Research Foundation, Inc., and is a member of the PSRTI Governing Board.”

NEDA further said the Mr. Mapa was sworn in by Mr. Duterte last Monday, May 27, at Malacañan Palace.

The Palace also released copies of the appointment paper of Ramon T. Tulfo, Jr. on Tuesday, extending his term as Special Envoy for Public Diplomacy of the President to the People’s Republic of China for another “six months.”

An appointment letter signed by the President on May 22 and addressed to the Chair and Commissioners of the Presidential Commission on Good Government was also released. The President’s letter reads: “It is my desire that Mr Rehan Balt Lao be elected President and Member, Board of Directors, UCPB-CIIF Finance and Development Corporation, vice Edgardo C. Amistad.”