NFA, PCA heads quit to let Pangilinan start on clean slate
MANILA, Philippines—The heads of the National Food Authority and of the Philippine Coconut Authority have turned in their letters of courtesy resignation last week following the appointment of former senator Francis N. Pangilinan as the agencies’ new boss.
Last May 5, President Aquino issued Executive Order No. 165, putting the NFA and the PCA – along with the National Irrigation Administration and the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority – under the Office of the President instead of the Department of Agriculture (DA).
Orlan A. Calayag, administrator of the National Food Authority, sent his quit paper dated May 6 following Pangilinan’s appointment as presidential assistant on food security and agricultural modernization.
“With your permission and to allow Secretary Pangilinan greater latitude in performing his mandate, I am tendering my resignation,” Calayag wrote.
Based on a copy of the letter, it was received May 8 by Malacañang as well as the offices of Pangilinan and of Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala, the head of the DA.
“I am also relinquishing position that I hold ex officio,” he said. “I ask that this resignation be made effective upon the appointment of a replacement.”
Further, Calayag assured the Chief Executive that the NFA team would work “for the smooth transition of the leadership” of the agency.
In an interview, PCA Administrator Euclides G. Forbes said he resigned “to enable the new boss to choose who should lead” the agency.
Forbes said there was yet no answer from Malacañang, but that he was willing to stay on as PCA chief if asked to.
In his letter to the President dated May 7, Forbes told the President that “(m)y earnest intention is to give your office and (of Pangilinan) a free hand in your desire of enhancing the coordinated efforts of the (four agencies) in fulfilling their respective mandates.”
Forbes was referring to the rationale of transferring the supervision of the agencies, stated in EO 165, from the agriculture department to the newly created office that Pangilinan has been assuming.
In a separate interview, NIA Administrator Claro V. Maranan said he intended to serve out his term, which lasted until June 30.
“We are presidential appointees, it is improper for us to resign,” Maranan said, adding that Pangilinan’s authority on installing the NIA chief was just recommendatory.
However, Maranan said his stay in office might be cut short if a replacement were to be named before the end of next month. “I will wait for it,” he added.
In a telephone interview, FPA executive Norlito R. Gicana said he could not yet comment on his status as this would still be discussed with Secretaries Alcala and Pangilinan.
Asked for comment, Alcala told reporters that resigning as a courtesy was a commendable move.
“This is an honorable action on their part,” Alcala said of Calayag and Forbes. “It gives the new Secretary some leeway for his own recommendations, if there are any.”
When Pangilinan’s appointment was announced last week, Alcala expressed confidence that Pangilinan “will be effective” in his new post.
“We at the DA family look forward to discussing with him his specific assignments from the President himself,” Alcala said back then. “We hope to start working with him to fulfill these tasks at the soonest possible time.”
“We have a different setup at the FPA,” Gicana said. “We are a regular agency while the three other agencies are corporations.”
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