Last week, Jenny Phillips Aguilar was appointed to the post of finance minister, assuming the role of Guillermo Zúniga, who stepped down on Aug. 1. Phillips, a lawyer and a member of the finance ministry since 1976, is the first female to assume the post.
Zúniga stepped down to joing the campaign of Liberation Nacional presidential candidate Laura Chinchilla. According to Costa Rican election rules, those serving in political office cannot work on a campaign unless they step down six months before the election.
In the past 15 years, Phillips has held many significant roles in the finance sector. She was the first general director of taxes (1994-1997) and executive director of the National Direction of Pensions. She also served as a special defender in the Ombudsman s Office. In May of 2006, Phillips returned to the finance ministry to occupy the role of vice minister of revenue.
I am thankful to have the vote of confidence from President (Oscar) Arias and that I have been given the opportunity to be minister, Phillips said. We will continue with the fiscal vision that we have developed in the last three years; there will not be changes in direction. We will maintain our promise to continue charging taxes in the manner we have decided upon, and that takes into consideration the public spending.
On Wednesday, Loretta Rodríguez Muñoz was appointed vice minister of revenue, taking Phillips s vacated position. Rodríguez, a lawyer, moves to the finance ministry from theNational Customs Court
, where she served as president since 1988. She has held a position in the finance ministry for 27 years.
José Luis Araya Alpízar will continue his role as vice minister of expenses. Araya has worked in the finance ministry for over 20 years. This is the first time in the history of the finance ministry that the top three posts have been held by officials with over 20 years of experience.