LOS BAÑOS — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Tuesday said he has yet to pick a new agriculture secretary because “the list keeps changing.”
Marcos, who concurrently handles the agriculture portfolio, said he has a “timetable” on when he would turn over the office but there were “some things he would like to achieve before leaving the department.”
“Ayaw pumayag nitong si Usec eh,” he joked, referring to Agriculture Senior Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban. “Sabi niya masyadong mabigat ang trabaho.”
“So hindi pa tayo nandun, but of course maraming lumalabas na pangalan, tuloy tuloy ang pagtingin namin. Hopefully by the time yung checklist ko natapos na, meron na tayong pwedeng i-nominate na DA."
When asked how many officials are included, Marcos said, “Well the list keeps changing. May nawawala, may natatanggal, may nawawala, may natatanggal.”
A farmers’ group last month urged Marcos to quit his post as agriculture secretary and appoint a full-time one.
Senators Koko Pimentel and Risa Hontiveros earlier made calls for Marcos to appoint a new DA chief.
But Marcos had said he would let go of the DA portfolio “when we are able to say that the DA’s functions are properly institutionalized and the structural changes that we need to make in the DA have been made.”