MANILA (Mabuhay) — Senate President Franklin Drilon urged President Aquino to review the leadership setup in the agriculture department, saying that having two secretaries at the helm does not help improve agriculture productivity.
Functions at the agriculture department have been split between agriculture secretary Proceso Alcala and former senator Kiko Pangilinan who has been appointed as presidential assistant for food security and agricultural modernization.
In the budget briefing with economic managers, Drilon pointed out that agriculture in the first quarter of the year grew only less than one percent. Saying that raids of warehouses are not enough, Drilon said that more should be done to help alleviate poverty and improve supply. One third of the labor force is in the agriculture sector.
“Sa akin po, isa sa mga dapat tignan ng Pangulo kung sino talaga ng agriculture secretary dahil po nakita natin ang agriculture sector ay bumababa at paglago ng agriculture ay less than one percent. Apart from the usual calamities, I think there is also need for us to have a point man. Sino ba talaga? Kahit sa budget, magkaiba ‘yung secretary ng ibang ahensya sa agrikultura. They split the agencies in the agriculture department. So I would strongly suggest that this be reviewed,” Drilon later told reporters.
But Drilon declined to say who between Alcala and Pangilinan should stay.
“Hindi ko alam. I’m just saying that the setup cannot continue,” he said. (MNS)