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Piñol sworn in as MinDA chief




Former Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol vowed to work as hard as he took his oath as the new chairman of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) yesterday.

In a Facebook post, Piñol shared that his fixed six-year term as the new MinDA chair officially started. The post is a Cabinet rank and car­ries the rank of Secretary.

According to Piñol, his new post will also allow him to be closer to where his heart is.

“This will also bring me closer to my family and, of course, my farm,” he said.

“Just as when I was Secretary of Agriculture I will work just as hard,” he added.

Piñol, meanwhile, thanked Ag­riculture stakeholders for their support and asked for their under­standing for his decision to leave the DA. He said his new post will allow him to pursue his dream for farmers and fisherfolks.

“This was in the best interest of the Department and the stakehold­ers,” he said.

“At odds with the Economic Man­agers and a very powerful political personality, I felt then that I would get nowhere in my dream to serve the farmers and fisherfolks,” he added.

Earlier, President Duterte revealed that Piñol resigned as DA secretary. In his letter to the President, Piñol said he was open to be transferred to the MinDA to take over the posi­tion of the late Datu Abul Khayr Alonto.

This month, Duterte named for­mer Agriculture Secretary William Dar as Piñol’s replacement.

Piñol’s new responsibility is a “multi-task job” to include Agricul­ture, Trade and Commerce, Interna­tional Relations and even Security Concerns. He is also the Philippine Government’s representative to the Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines East Asia Growth Area Regional Grouping (BIMP-EAGA).

Aside from being the MinDA chair, Piñol’s added task is to serve as Duterte’s point-person to the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

Earlier, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said choosing the right person to handle MinDA is an important task since the govern­ment cannot afford for the BARMM to fail like the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

“We cannot afford to fail in this BARMM kasi pag nag-fail ito eh parang ARMM din ‘yan, nag-fail. Mahirap, mahirap, hindi pwede,” he said. (Argyll Geducos)