President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has named Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr. as the new Secretary of the Department of Agriculture (DA).
“I have just administered the oath of office for the new secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Francisco Laurel,” Marcos said.
“It is time that we have found somebody who understands very well the problems that agriculture is facing,” he added.
“Secretary Kiko and I are confident that we have a fair understanding, a good understanding of what it is that needs to be done, what are the problems.”
Laurel will succeed Marcos, who has been the DA Secretary since he assumed the presidency in 2022.
The President also clarified his extended tenure in the role, emphasizing that there are numerous responsibilities that only the highest-ranking official in the country can effectively manage.
“I truly believe and I think I was proven right that there are many things that only a President could do and the problems were so important and were so deep that I felt that the authority… I suppose moral persuasion of a President was necessary for us to be able to figure out, and it really was, agriculture is a much much more complicated thing than most people understand,” Marcos said.
Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr. appointed as Agriculture chief
Laurel made a significant contribution to Marcos’ presidential campaign in the 2022 elections, with records from the Commission on Elections indicating a donation of P30 million. The President noted his long-standing acquaintance with Laurel.
“I’ve known him since we were boys. So, malakas ang loob ko na ma-i-appoint siya kasi kilala ko pagkatao niya. Alam kong napakasipag nito, unang-una. Pangalawa, nauunawaan niya nang mabuti ang sistema ng agrikultura dito sa Pilipinas,” Marcos told reporters.
When asked about his directives for Laurel, Marcos stated that he expects the new DA chief to address the rising prices of agricultural products.
“Well, the obvious one is trying to gain control of the prices of all the agricultural commodities that are going up at tinatamaan tayo ng ‘yun na nga, ‘yung napag-usapan ko, climate change, alam niyo na lahat ‘yung swine flu, alam niyo na lahat ‘yung avian flu na tumatama sa atin,” he said.