MANILA, Philippines - A Cabinet secretary had trouble remembering the name of his own boss, President Benigno Aquino III, during a Palace event on Monday.
"Ang atin pong Pangulo ng Republika ng Pilipinas. Ang lubhang kagalanggalang (long pause, smiles, looks at the President), Noynoy, aah, Simeon (laughs) Aquino III," said Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala during the Gawad Saka awards held in Malacañang.
The President took it lightly and cracked a joke at Alcala's expense at the start of his speech during the awarding ceremonies.
"Secretary (Jun) Delantar, pakibigyan mo lang si Secretary (Alcala) ng calling card ko. (Laughter) Nakalimutan na niyang matagal na kami magkakilala."
Aquino, however, also praised Alcala, as the agriculture sector [including livestock and fisheries] grew more than 4% in the first quarter of 2011.
He said the gross value of the nation's agriculture output amounted to almost P350 billion during the period. "Mas mataas po ito ng humigit-kumulang labintatlong porsyento kumpara sa nakaraang taon," Aquino said.
The President also announced that the government will use Geographic Information System (GIS) technology for "precision agriculture."
"Isa sa mga bahagi ng GIS ang pagbuo ng National Farmers' Registry System. Mistulang census ng mga magsasaka at mangingisda sa buong bansa na pasisimulan sa Quezon, Leyte at Bukidnon," he added.
"Ang mga nakakalap na impormasyon mula sa bawat magsasaka, kabilang na ang uri ng sinasakang pananim at lawak ng lupang sinasaka, ay gagamitin po natin upang makapagsagawa ng mas komprehensibong programa at kapaki-pakinabang na serbisyo," Aquino said. - Report from Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News