Piñol has instituted a ‘roadmap’ for DA – Usec. Cayanan
Marje Pelayo • June 28, 2019 • 1923
MANILA, Philippines – Secretary Manny Piñol continues to perform as head of the Department of Agriculture (DA) following his submission of his courtesy resignation to President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday (June 27).
However, the Secretary prefers to work silently while waiting for the President’s decision on his request to be relieved and be transferred to a different Cabinet position.
While the President contemplates on moving Piñol to chair the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), the Agriculture Secretary has asked the President to pick his replacement from DA’s undersecretaries whom he believes would “ensure the continuity of the programs” that the agency has started and are now in the pipeline.
“These officials are all competent and loyal to your ideals and advocacies. They are also familiar with the very important programs which are now in the pipeline whose implementation may be waylaid if the new head of DA would be an outsider,” the Secretary said in his letter.
Usec. Cayanan, for his part, said Secretary Piñol’s decision was unexpected.
Nevertheless, he is confident that the Department’s operations will run as planned because Piñol already laid a ‘roadmap’ for the next chief to work on.
“Ang maganda po ang ating departamento ay may mga road maps po tayo. (Our department already has a roadmap.) That, I think, (is) one of what we call accomplishments of the secretary’s administration,” Cayanan noted.
Among the challenges Secretary Piñol addressed in the DA were the outbreak of bird flu in Central Luzon in 2017 and the rice controversy in the country in 2018.
The Secretary opposed the enactment of the Rice Liberalization Law which lifted the quantitative import restriction on rice and removed the National Food Authority (NFA) regulatory functions.
The most recent was the Recto Bank incident that involved 22 Filipino fishermen allegedly hit by Chinese crewmen where President Duterte tasked Piñol to facilitate the offer of assistance to the affected fishermen. – with reports from Rey Pelayo
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte and his delegation are set to fly to China for a working visit in response to the invitation from Chinese President Xi Jinping.
It will be Duterte’s fifth visit to Beijing and his eight meeting with Xi.
The two leaders will meet on August 29 when they will discuss several agreements on education, science and technology, economy and social development.
The President himself also stressed that he would insist the Hague Arbitral Ruling during his meeting with the Chinese President along with other sensitive issues like the code of conduct and joint exploration in the disputed territory in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).
“We cannot preempt what does the President will discuss in particular regarding the arbitral ruling. So, it will be his call during the meeting with the President with his counterpart,” explained Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Meynardo Montealegre.
The Philippine delegation will also attend a business forum in China in cooperation with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
The President’s itinerary includes a meeting with Vice President Wang Qishan and some relax time in the opening of the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Guanzhou on August 31 in support to the Philippines’ GILAS team in their game against Italy.
Meanwhile, contrary to earlier announcements, President Duterte will no longer push through with his visit to Fujian province where he was supposed to grace the launching of a university building as tribute to his mother, Soledad.
According to the President’s close in staff, this is not the right time for it.
“But for this particular visit, there was a plan and then the recommendation now is to move it at a later date because it’s more appropriate to be done at a later date and not at this particular time,” noted Robert Borje, the Chief of the Presidential Protocol and Presidential Assistant on Foreign Affairs. – MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) maintains that pork items in local markets are still safe for consumption despite reports of sudden pig deaths in some areas in the country.
“We assure the public that the meat in the market today is safe (because) it’s sourced from areas (that) are not infected,” assured Noel Reyes, spokesperson of Agriculture Secretary William Dar.
The Department has already imposed a major disease protocol in the areas of concern though the DA has not yet named where the specific locations are and what have caused the pigs death.
In accordance with the protocol, all pigs within the 1 kilometer radius have already been culled while those within the 7 kilometer radius have been placed under control where entry and exit of pigs are prohibited.
Meanwhile, pig handlers within the 10 kilometer radius from the infected site are obliged to report immediately if there is pig mortality in their area.
Reyes said the DA suspected that the reported deaths of pigs could have been caused by ‘swill’ or food leftovers that’s why the DA advised all hog raisers to refrain from feeding their pigs with swill.
Reyes noted that hog raisers may have resorted to swill because it is cheaper.
The DA sais it may take up to two weeks to three months before the result of the confirmatory test on the infected pigs’ samples is released to determine what type of pig disease hit them.
The department assured that in the next bulletin, they will include details of assistance that affected hog raisers may avail to cope up with the problem. – MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)
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