Jinggoy Estrada urges Marcos to choose permanent agriculture chief

(GMA NEWS) Senator Jinggoy Estrada on Monday said President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. needed to appoint a permanent secretary of agriculture amid the persistent problems in the sector such as smuggling.

Marcos had taken on the post since he assumed the presidency, saying the sector’s problems were severe enough and that agriculture was a priority of his administration.

“Siguro ang sa akin lang kailangan na pumili ng… permanent agriculture secretary kasi siyempre bilang presidente, marami siyang problema at trabaho, tapos aasikasuhin mo pa yung isang departamento…” Estrada said at the Kapihan sa Senado.

Estrada is a member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture.

(Personally, I think he needs to choose a permanent agriculture secretary because as president, he already has too many things to do. And then, he still has to look after one department.

“Sa dami ng issue ng sektor ng agrikultura—smuggling, sibuyas, ‘yung pag-import ng bigas—dapat meron tayong permanent secretary of agriculture,” he added.

(With the issues facing the agriculture sector—smuggling, onions, rice importation—we should have a permanent secretary of agriculture.)

Still, ,Estrada said he was “satisfied” by Marcos’ performance.

GMA News Online sought Malacanang’s comment through Presidential Communications Office Secretary Cheloy Garafil, but she has yet to respond as of posting time.

Earlier this month, Marcos said he wanted to ensure that systems were all in place before he left the Department of Agriculture. He said he would for now stay on as agriculture secretary.

Marcos has been sitting as DA Secretary since he assumed the presidency last year. Marcos joked that he already asked personalities to volunteer for the post, but they did not want him to leave the DA.

Before leaving the agency, Marcos wants to guarantee the country’s food supply, the affordable prices of food commodities, and a better livelihood for local farmers. —NB, GMA Integrated News