In a significant move for the agriculture sector, farmers and meat processors have expressed their willingness to collaborate with the newly appointed Department of Agriculture (DA) chief. This decision by Malacañang marks the end of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s concurrent role as DA secretary, which he had assumed since taking office on June 30, 2022.
Reacting to the appointment of Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr. as the full-time DA chief, both the Federation of Free Farmers (FFF) and the Philippine Association of Meat Processors Inc. (PAMPI) conveyed their support for the new secretary. FFF Chairman Leonardo Montemayor stated, “We wish Secretary Francis Tiu Laurel Jr. success in his new position, and we are prepared to work closely with him.” Additionally, FFF expressed the hope that the new secretary would actively address the concerns of small farmers, municipal fishers, and other marginalized members of the agricultural sector.
PAMPI extended its congratulations to Laurel and conveyed confidence in his ability to efficiently manage the agriculture portfolio as an experienced agribusiness entrepreneur. PAMPI President Felix Tiukinhoy Jr. stated, “We hope that all sectors of agriculture provide him needed advice and support to ensure that agriculture becomes a strong pillar of the national economy.” The organization also pledged its full support and cooperation to the Department of Agriculture under Laurel’s leadership.
The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), representing the apex of business in the country, expressed relief at the appointment of a dedicated agriculture secretary. PCCI President George T. Barcelon emphasized that the new secretary’s primary mandate would be to implement measures to control stubborn inflation. Barcelon highlighted the importance of supply and demand management, as well as logistical considerations, in lowering prices, especially for basic commodities. He also called for the new secretary to have strong management skills to monitor these crucial issues, which are of great concern to both businesses and consumers.
Barcelon expressed confidence that President Marcos would fully support the new secretary on matters requiring political will. “We note our support to the new secretary; in fact, we are very active in the agriculture sector,” he affirmed.
The appointment of Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr. as the DA chief has garnered positive responses from various sectors, who hope for effective collaboration in driving agricultural development and addressing the concerns of farmers and consumers alike.