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Marcos names Francisco Tiu Laurel as new Agriculture Department chief

Charles Dantes

President Marcos on Friday named Francisco Laurel as the head of the Department of Agriculture during a press briefing inside Malacañang.

“I have just administered the oath of office for the new secretary of the Department of Agriculture Francisco Laurel,” Mr. Marcos said.

“And, this is because it is time that we have found somebody who understands very well the problems that agriculture is facing,” the President said.

Laurel has been the President of Frabelle Fishing Corporation since 1985 and Director of Frabelle Corporation since 2010. Additionally, he has served as Chairman of the Agusan Power Corporation since 2018.

“I have known him since we were boys, kaya malakas ang loob ko na ma-appoint siya kasi kilala ko ang pagkatao niya. Alam kong napakasipag nito,” Mr. Marcos added.

The President said Laurel understood the different facets of agriculture and had worked in the sector for “a very long time.”

Marcos said he was banking on the new DA chief to form strategies to mitigate climate change’s impact on farmers and fisherfolk.

“Nauunawaan niya hindi lamang kung ano ang problema, kung hindi ang mga solusyon sa problemang yun. Bukod pa roon, kilala na niya ang mga taong, yung tinatawag na mga expert, professional. Madali niyang lapitan,” the President said.

Laurel said he would focus on agricultural production and modernization as DA chief.

“Layunin ko na tiyakin na may sapat at may masustansyang pagkain na mabibili ang ating mga kababayan sa tamang halaga. Susi dito ang modernisasyon ng sektor ng agrikultura kasabay ng pagbubuti sa kapakanan ng mga kapatid nating magsasaka at mangingisda,” Laurel said.

“Lubos akong naniniwala na kaya nating mapalago ang produksyon ng agrikultura sa tulong ng ating Presidente. Ngunit hindi ko ito kakayanin nang mag-isa,” he said.

Marcos Jr’s first order of business to Laurel was to “gain control of the prices of all the agricultural commodities,” which he said had gone up.

“Tinatamaan tayo ng climate change… alam niyo nang lahat ang swine flu, alam niyo nang lahat ang avian flu na tumatama sa atin. Yan ang una nating… immediate term,” he said.

He directed the top agriculture official to focus on the cost of farm production and mechanization.

“Tinitingnan natin ang ginagawa ng ating karatig-bansa… at baka mayroon tayong matututunan sa kanila na puwede nating [magamit] dito sa Pilipinas,” he said.

The businessman was part of the President’s Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC).

Mr. Marcos Jr. previously said he wanted an agricultural expert to head the DA.

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Credit belongs to : www.manilastandard.net

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