Everyday History
Dr. Gerardo Sicat
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Dr. Gerardo Sicat, economist, was born: Oct. 7, 1935

On this day in 1935, Filipino economist, columnist, educator, and public servant Dr. Gerardo Sicat was born in San Fernando, Pampanga.

A graduate of the University of the Philippines Diliman, Sicat initially served as an instructor at the university’s School of Economics. In 1970, he entered government service as one of the technocrats appointed by dictator Ferdinand Marcos to help manage the economy.

From 1970 to 1972, Sicat was chairman of the National Economic Council. During Martial Law, he was appointed Director General of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and Minister of Economic Planning (1972-1981). He vigorously promoted sound macroeconomic management, economic reforms, and the preparation of a national development plan.

Post-government service

A strong believer in economic liberalization, Sicat was appalled by the highly protectionist perspective that the Marcos administration held. By the 1980s, he had left government service and returned to UP Diliman where he continued to teach economics.

At the UP Diliman, Sicat continued to support two research bodies that he helped establish during his government service – the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), a government institute focused on economic research, and the Philippine Center for Economic Development (PCED), the research arm of the UP School of Economics.

Moreover, he also promoted the study of social science in the country by supporting the funding needs of the Philippine Social Science Council (PSSC).

While teaching at UP, he also served as the chairman of the Philippine National Bank from 1981 to 1983. He also lent his expertise in various capacities to the World Bank in Washington DC, from 1985 to 1997.

Arguably one of the most prolific economists in the Philippines and Southeast Asia, Sicat authored the widely circulated textbook Economics (1983). He also wrote The Philippines: Industrialization and Trade Policies (1981) and served as editor of the Philippine Economic Journal.

Currently, Dr. Gerardo Sicat is a professor emeritus of economics at the UP Diliman and writes a column in The Philippine STAR, discussing socioeconomic and business matters.

References:

Gerardo P. Sicat: The Economist With a Vision.” PIDS Digest, September 1997. Accessed via the UP School of Economics website.

Gerardo P. Sicat.” Philippine Social Science Council Knowledge Archive.

Gerardo P. Sicat.” Arellano High School Inspiring Life Stories

Trivia Question:

What is the title of Sicat’s regular business column in The Philippine STAR?

Yesterday’s answer: Philippine Autonomy Act or the Jones Law

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