Banayo gets Meco post; Maza named to head NAPC
ANOTHER member of the so-called Makabayan bloc—a group of left-leaning organizations critical of previous administrations—has secured a government position in the Duterte administration.
Liza Maza, former sectoral representative of the women’s party-list group Gabriela, was appointed lead convenor of the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC), the coordinating and advisory body for the implementation of the government’s social reform agenda.
Two other appointments were bared yesterday: that of former postmaster general and Duterte political strategist Angelito Banayo, who is now managing director and resident representative of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (Meco), the Philippines’ representative office in Taiwan, and Globe Telecom’s former chief legal counsel Rodolfo Salalima, who has been named secretary of the newly created Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT).
The DICT was created to focus on the development of the Philippines’ growing information and communications technology sector, and to promote digital literacy and ICT expertise across the country.
Maza joins fellow activists Rafael Mariano, the new agrarian reform secretary; Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo, Labor Undersecretary Joel Maglunsod, and Leoncio Evasco, secretary to the Cabinet.
Newly installed Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol meanwhile recommended several trusted people he brought in mostly from Mindanao to head agencies affiliated to the Department of Agriculture (DA).
Piñol yesterday said he got President Duterte’s go signal to make recommendations on the possible heads of several agriculture-related agencies, including the National Food Authority (NFA), the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) and the National Irrigation Administration (NIA).
“They are recommendees because I have no authority to appoint, but I sought the clearance of the President and he agreed,” Piñol said of the agencies which are under the Office of the Presidential Assistant on Food Security and Agricultural Modernization, and are not part of his portfolio.
“My recommendee for PCA administrator, a journalist and a farmer himself, is Al Mendoza,” he said. “(Mendoza) is from Quezon and Pangasinan.”
For NFA administrator, Piñol has recommended Domingo Duerme, formerly the Philippine Airlines’ vice president for Mindanao.
The DA chief also named C’zar M. Sulaik, currently an engineer with NIA’s Caraga regional office, as the agency’s possible new administrator.
Piñol confirmed as well that Agriculture Undersecretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat was staying, this time as officer in charge of administration, finance and operations—and temporarily as chief of staff.
“She has guided me around the department over the last few weeks,” Piñol said.
Also keeping his job is Undersecretary Siegfredo Serrano, who handles policy and planning.
Piñol’s new undersecretaries included Evelyn Laviña, now in charge of agribusiness and high-value crops.
“She is from Davao City and popularly known as the wife of (Duterte’s presidential) campaign spokesperson Peter Laviña, but I did not appoint her as Usec because of that,” the agriculture secretary said.
Piñol also named as undersecretary for special concerns—which used to be Puyat’s turf—lawyer Ranibai Dilangalen who, he said, “would help connect (him) to the Bangsamoro region.”
Taking over as national director of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) was undersecretary for fisheries and BFAR director, retired Philippine Coast Guard Commodore Eduardo Gongona. Helping him out are retired Adm. Joey Casillian and consultant Tom Falgui, whom Piñol described as a personal lawyer of boxer and Sen. Manny Pacquiao.
As sectoral representative, Maza championed several measures that uphold women’s rights, among them the Magna Carta of Women, the Anti-Torture Law, the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003, the Anti-Violence against Women and Children Act, the Philippine Nursing Act, and the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006.
San Beda alumnus
Banayo used to be administrator of the National Food Authority and the Philippine Tourism Authority, and led the creation of the Philippine Postal Corp.
Salalima, who was also Globe Telecom’s senior vice president for corporate and regulatory affairs, is an alumnus of San Beda College, President Duterte’s alma mater. He counts 40 years in the telecommunications industry, including stints at Bayan Telecommunications Inc. and at Radio Communications of the Philippines Inc.
Mendoza, currently a sports columnist with Business Mirror, previously wrote for The Standard and the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
Piñol described Laviña as “one of the main proponents of the cacao industry in Mindanao… whose family is also involved in fishponds, shrimps, palm oil, and many other (agri sectors).”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.