MANILA- Former Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol took his oath on Wednesday as the new chairman of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA).
Piñol, in a Facebook post, said his new position requires him to “multi-task” on agriculture, trade and commerce, international relations, and even security concerns.
“Just as when I was Secretary of Agriculture I will work just as hard,” he said, noting that his new job will bring him closer to his family and farm.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier said he wanted Piñol to lead the Mindanao development agency because he knows the terrain in the region. Piñol will serve as MinDA chair for 6 years.
“My added task is to serve as President Rody Duterte's ‘Point Person’ to the newly formed Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM),” Piñol said.
Piñol also thanked his old department and its stakeholders and appealed for understanding, saying his new position was in the “best interest” of the agriculture department due to problems he faced in leading the agency.
“I thank the stakeholders of Agriculture for their support and at the same time beg for their understanding for my decision to leave the Department of Agriculture. This was in the best interest of the Department and the stakeholders,” he said.
“At odds with the Economic Managers and a very powerful political personality, I felt then that I would get nowhere in my dream to serve the farmers and fisherfolks,” he said.
Piñol was succeeded by William Dar as acting secretary of the Department of Agriculture.