Marcos Jr. needs ‘caretaker’ to lead DA, says official

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INCOMING President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. will need to appoint a caretaker for the Department of Agriculture (DA) even with his decision to head the agency once his term starts on July 1, 2022.

This was what DA Assistant Secretary Salvador Diputado said Wednesday, June 22, 2022, when he received word of Marcos’ plan to head the agency.

Though he welcomes Marcos’s plan to head the DA, Diputado, who is currently the agency’s assistant secretary for the Visayas, said that as President, Marcos will be faced with various challenges once he starts his term, apart from those involving the DA.

Diputado said Marcos will need to hire someone from within the agency that will serve as caretaker while he focuses on other government matters.

“Nobody will dare challenge his program, but he will need somebody to act as caretaker, someone who will actually do it for him, someone who is new and who comes from within,” Diputado told SunStar Cebu.

Agriculture as priority

But Diputado also praised Marcos’ decision to personally lead the DA as it will give great attention to the country’s agricultural situation and to its farmers.

“Good choice because this will be the right time for food production to take front seat in nation building. Maybe this time, the DA will have (a) bigger and better budget,” Diputado added.

For this year, the national government has allocated only around P91 billion for the DA, which is less than half of the P231 billion budget the agency had proposed.

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