Marcos wants expert in agri sector as next DA chief

Job Manahan and Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 21 2023 05:10 PM

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. speaks to members of the media during his state visit to China on January 5, 2022. Presidential Communications Office handout/file
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. speaks to members of the media during his state visit to China on January 5, 2022. Presidential Communications Office handout/file

MANILA — President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. wants an expert to lead the Department of Agriculture (DA), saying the person must be familiar with the science and the system of the sector. 

Speaking to reporters in Davos, Switzerland, Marcos, who concurrently leads the agency, said he was just waiting to finish their "bucket list" for the DA before he leaves. 

“Kailangan eksperto sa agrikultura. Agriculture is a very complicated subject. Hindi lang kung sino-sino basta’t magaling mag-manage," Marcos said. 

"They have to understand the science… They have to understand the solution. They also have to understand the system,” he added. 

“Unless, they’re involved in agriculture. Mayroon naman nag-retire diyan, they got heavily involved in agriculture, baka marunong na talaga sila, why not?” 

There were calls late last year for the President to drop the agriculture portfolio, with groups and officials saying the agency needs a full-time head who can focus on the sector.

But in late November last year, Marcos said "the list keeps changing." 

Marcos though said he would finally exit the agency once there is someone qualified to succeed him, they just have to finish "all the hard things" first. 

“'Yung mahirap gawin ngayon namin gagawin. Pag nagawa na namin ‘yung mga bucket list namin, natapos na namin, aalis na ako then I will give it to somebody else,” Marcos said.

His statement comes as the cost of local onions, sugar, and eggs continue to increase, with the cost of red onion still playing between P300 and P450 in wet markets this week. 

Marcos earlier vowed to go after smugglers in the agency.