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Piñol wants interactive DA website

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol has continued with administrative and operational innovations to fix graft-prone or obsolete methods in his agency. He has mandated concerned personnel to create a new department website with an interactive mode to accommodate public complaints and suggestions.

“I am directing the new head of the ICT office to open a new (department) website that will be interactive and where stakeholders in agriculture could relay their concerns, problems, and complaints directly to the Secretary,” Piñol said in his first convocation with DA central office rank-and-file personnel in Quezon City.

Piñol, one of first three Cabinet officials named by President Duterte while awaiting congressional proclamation as elected Chief Executive, hinted that the current DA website is not interactive on receiving public feedbacks.

He posted on Wednesday a copy of the full text of his first convocation statement like what he did for all official remarks and prospected policies meant to draw reactions or comments from the public.

In his latest statement, Piñol lamented that “over the years, the DA’s image has been tainted with issues of corruption from the fertilizer scam to allegations that the importation of onion and garlic is controlled by a cartel.”

He cited as example the DA’s PL480 program which he described as “noble” with funding support from the United States’ government for the enhancement of the country’s dairy goat industry through infusion of outstanding genetics. But the program “has been marred by corruption,” he said. (Ali G. Macabalang)