Duterte sought to immediately find replacement for Piñol
Some agriculture groups, including Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (SINAG) and United Broiler Raisers Association (UBRA), asked President Rodrigo Duterte to immediately find a replacement for outgoing Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol.
“It is our understanding that you have decide to assign Secretary Emmanuel Piñolto another post involving the development in Mindanao,” the groups said.
“We fully realize that finding someone who has your trust requires some time. We only humbly ask that you take into consideration the very serious threat of the African Swine Fever (ASF) entering our shores,” they added.
To recall, Piñol has resigned from his current position last month. As he accepted Piñol’s resignation, Duterte also decided to appoint him as the new chair for Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA).
The groups said the Department of Agriculture (DA) couldn’t afford to operate without a leader amid the threat of ASF into the country.
“The ASF is now a global pandemic that is wrecking havoc in the livelihoods of millions of hog raisers across the globe; with huge social and economic losses to the agriculture sector. It is a situation that urgently needs a leadership that is not in transition at the Department of Agriculture since the Secretary will be at the helm in directing all our efforts in ensuring that the country remains ASF-free,” the groups said.
“Eleven months since the reported spread of the ASF, we lament that fact that the government agencies that are involved in the quarantine, monitoring and surveillance of international cargos, international passengers and imported products remain ill-informed on the contingency measures that should have been in place for the past months,” they further said.