New DA chief’s maiden mission: Tame soaring agri prices
MANILA, Philippines — The new Department of Agriculture (DA) chief, Francisco O. Tiu Laurel Jr., must gain control of the rising agricultural prices, ordered President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Friday.
Marcos handed the mantle of DA Secretary to Laurel after more than a year of holding the position himself.
“Well, the obvious one is trying to gain control of the prices of all the agricultural commodities that are going up,” Marcos told the media at a press briefing.
In addition to this, Marcos also instructed Laurel to immediately oversee climate change mitigation, as well as tackle swine flu and avian flu in the country.
“At the same time, kasabay nito is the longer term yung production, atsaka cost of production, mechanization, lahat ng mga bagay na yan,” said Marcos.
(At the same time, this goes with the long term, the production, cost of production, mechanization, all of those things.)
Marcos also told Laurel to look at what countries like Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia are doing and what could be applied to the Philippines.
Meanwhile, Laurel said that he would lay down his plans as DA Secretary in the coming days, but his priority was the modernization of the country’s agriculture.
“Pangunahing adhikain ko ang pagtiyak na sagana ang ating ani at siguruhing ito ay makakarating sa hapag ng bawat Pilipino. Layunin ko na tiyakin na may sapat at masustansyang pagkain na mabibili ng ating mga kababayan sa tamang halaga. Susi dito ang modernisasyon ng sektor ng agrikultura,” Laurel said.
(The first goal that I can promise is ensuring that the harvest is bountiful and will reach the table of every Filipino. My objective is to make sure that there is enough healthy food that our countrymen can buy at the right price. The key to this is the modernization of agriculture.)
Laurel is the president of the Frabelle Fishing Corporation, and he has held positions in different companies, including the Frabelle Shipyard Corporation, Westpac Meat Processing Corporation and more.