Chairperson Arsenio M. Balisacan is an economist with extensive high-level policymaking practice and a well-recognized expert in Asia on economic development, inequality, poverty, antitrust (competition policy), and the political economy of policy reforms.

A member of the regular faculty of the University of the Philippines School of Economics for over three decades, Professor Balisacan is serving as the first Chairperson of the Philippine Competition Commission. Before this appointment, he was Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and, concurrently, Director-General of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) in 2012-2016. As NEDA Director-General, he served as Board Chairman of the Philippine Institute for Development Studies and as the first Board Chairperson of the Philippine Statistics Authority and the Public-Private Partnership Center of the Philippines.

Previous to his Cabinet appointment, he was Dean of the UP School of Economics, Director-Chief Executive of the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), and Undersecretary for Policy and Planning of the Department of Agriculture. Before joining the UP faculty in 1987, he was Research Fellow at the East-West Center in Honolulu and Economist at the World Bank in Washington, D.C.

He has authored and co-edited seven books and published, both locally and internationally, close to 100 academic papers and book chapters on various development issues, particularly in the Philippines and East Asia. His papers have appeared in, among others, Economics Letters, World Development, Review of World Economics, and Economic Development and Cultural Change. He founded—and served as editor in 2004-2016 of—the Asian Journal of Agriculture and Development.

He is a lifetime Member-Academician of the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST Philippines), the country’s top peer-elected body serving as principal adviser to the nation on science, technology, and innovation for national development.

Chairperson Balisacan pursued his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Hawaii, MS in Agricultural Economics from the University of the Philippines Los Baños, and B.S. in Agriculture (magna cum laude) from the Mariano Marcos State University.