Duterte confirms Agri chief’s move to BARMM
ALANGALANG, Leyte — Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol will leave the Cabinet to become one of the President Rodrigo Duterte’s men in the newly created Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
This was announced by President Duterte in a speech during the inauguration of the Chen Yi Agventures Rice Processing Center (CYA-RPC) in Barangay Mudburon, Alangalang town, Leyte on Friday night.
Piñol was around when the President said the Secretary would be appointed as one of his point men in the BARMM, a region created as a result of the passage of the Bangsamoro Organic Law.
“Si Secretary Piñol will be leaving the agriculture department. Because we have created BARMM, a new political entity… I’d like a point man there in the likes of Secretary Piñol,” he said.
According to the President, he wants to speed up the devolution of all national government agencies in the region because it seemed so slow.
“I’m not saying it’s not moving, but they are so slow that I really need a point man in the likes of Secretary Piñol,” he said.
When reached for comment, Piñol declined to issue a statement. “Narinig nyo naman ang sinabi ni Presidente (You heard what the President said),” he said.
Before Duterte arrived, Piñol also declined to answer questions from the media about his possible departure from the Cabinet. He earlier submitted a courtesy resignation to the President.
The President, however, did not announce who would replace Piñol in the Department of Agriculture.
Duterte arrived at the complex at 5:58 p.m. from Ormoc City, Leyte, where he also inaugurated the Ormoc Airport Development Project.
He was welcomed by Patrick Renucci and his wife Rachel, owners of the facility, and proceeded to lead the unveiling of the marker.
Duterte expressed his gratitude to the Renucci couple for putting up the facility, which is said to be the most advanced of its kind in Southeast Asia and the largest in Visayas and Mindanao.
Built over a sprawling two-hectare complex that used to be rice fields in Alangalang, Leyte, CYA-RPC uses temperature-controlled silos with total capacity 6,000 metric tons for the first phase of the project alone. The facility keep dried palay in a freshly harvested condition for over one year, according to a company statement.
It also deploys fully automated, touch screen controlled Japanese technology for its high-tech milling and drying facilities, producing 25,000 MT of freshly harvested, freshly milled rice per year for Phase I.
Chen Yi can expand up to Phase II and double production within its existing structures, and even up to Phase IV given its total land area of eight hectares. (Editor: Eden Estopace)
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