Department of Agriculture (DA) spokesperson Assistant Secretary Arnel de Mesa on Saturday said there will be significant changes in the department once newly-appointed DA Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel takes over.
De Mesa, quoted by reports, said that the changes that might be implemented will primarily focus on “for the improvement of management and operations of the DA.”
He added that the changes will also aim to make the department and the entire agriculture sector stronger and more stable.
“We have been having meetings with him, in the Palace, since he is a member of the Private Sector Advisory Council,” de Mesa, in a forum, also said.
As to the reshuffle within the upper executives of the DA, de Mesa said it would be “upon the discretion of our new secretary.”
Earlier, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. announced the appointment of Laurel as his successor to head the DA. The President held the position since he assumed office last year.
Asked about his marching orders for Laurel, Mr. Marcos said earlier that he wants the new DA chief to control the surging prices of agricultural products and address other concerns such as climate change and swine flu.
Mr. Marcos also said he wants Laurel to improve the country’s agriculture production and mechanization.
Sen. Francis Escudero meanwhile welcomed the appointment of Laurel and praised President Marcos for relinquishing the Cabinet portfolio.
Escudero also praised Marcos’ choice of a full-time secretary with extensive knowledge in fishing and agriculture, stating that it bodes well for the agriculture sector.
The senator congratulated Laurel on his appointment and described him as “sincere, honest, and hardworking.”
Escudero has been urging Mr. Marcos to appoint a permanent agriculture secretary, as he cannot fully devote his time to the agency due to his Chief Executive’s other pressing national concerns.
Laurel served as president of Frabelle Fishing Corp. from 1985 to October 31, 2023, and was a member of the agriculture sector group of the Private Sector Advisory Council (FSAC).
The incoming agriculture chief also held positions in various companies including president of the Frabelle Shipyard Corp.; chairman of Westpac Meat Processing Corp.; director of Frabelle Properties Corp.; and president of Markham Resources Corp., among others.