MANILA, Philippines – Former Senator Francis Pangilinan will take his oath before President Benigno Aquino III on Tuesday, May 6, as Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agricultural Modernization.
In a text message to reporters on Monday, presidential spokesman Herminio Coloma Jr said Pangilinan’s position comes with a Cabinet rank. “Hence, he will also hold the title of Secretary,” similar to the case of another former senator, Panfilo Lacson, who was earlier appointed as presidential adviser on the rehabilitation efforts in Eastern Visayas.
It isn't easy leaving the simple farming life and the rural setting to rejoin government. Duty calls.— Kiko Pangilinan (@kikopangilinan) May 5, 2014
A source close to Pangilinan told Rappler that the former senator will be handling the “problematic agencies” currently attached to the Department of Agriculture (DA). These include the National Food Authority, the National Irrigation Administration, the Bureau of Fisheries, the Philippine Coconut Authority, and the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority.
Pangilinan himself said Malacañang informed him that the President would issue an executive order Tuesday, transferring agencies of the Department of Agriculture (DA) to the Office of the President, and a memorandum order his duties and responsibilities.
Pangilinan, who belongs to the President’s Liberal Party, chaired the Senate committee on agriculture and food.
When Aquino assumed the presidency in 2010, there were talks that Pangilinan was being considered as agriculture secretary, except that his term was to end in 2013 yet.
Until 2011, reports were persistent that he would replace DA Secretary Proceso Alcala.
In 2012, Aquino announced that he was considering Pangilinan and Lacson for Cabinet positions after their Senate terms. – Rappler.com
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