Duterte mulls appointing Piñol as MinDA chief

Marje Pelayo   •   June 28, 2019   •   2124

Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol

MANILA, Philippines – Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol offered to be relieved from his current post through a courtesy resignation submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday (June 27).

The President said he is yet to accept Piñol’s resignation though he is inclined to move the Secretary to the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA).

The Chief Executive added that he intends to talk first to Bangsamoro Interim Chief Minister Al Hajj Murad Ebrahim about the idea.

“Until after I shall have talked to Murad, baka hindi niya tanggapin doon, at sabihin (he might not accept him and tell me): ‘What are you messing up with?’ Ang akin tulong lang (I’m just trying to help),” Duterte said.

“Kung ano legislation kailangan (If legislation is needed), I will bring it to Malacañang, and we will dwell on it, refer it to Congress or prepare a law,” he added.

While he has not yet formally accepted Piñol’s resignation, the President is now looking for someone to take over as Agriculture Secretary.

Meanwhile, the President clarified that he is moving Piñol not because of corruption, the rice issue or incompetence.

He said he just wanted someone to serve as the national government’s ‘point man’ to the Bangsamoro autonomous region.

“Corruption, wala (none). He is not corrupt. He is just talkative,” President Duterte concluded. – with details from Rosalie Coz

Duterte picks ex-Davao City councilor as new Mindanao Development Authority chief

Robie de Guzman   •   January 12, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has designated former Davao City Councilor Maria Belen Sunga Acosta as the new chairperson of Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), Malacañang announced Wednesday.

In a statement, the Palace said Duterte signed Acosta’s appointment last January 6, 2022. She will lead the agency for a term of six years.

She replaced Manny Piñol, who stepped down last October 2021 after filing his 2022 senatorial candidacy.

“We wish Chairperson Acosta all the best in her new assignment, and are confident that she will continue the initiatives her predecessors pursued to accelerate the socio-economic growth of Mindanao,” the Palace said.

MinDa earlier said that Acosta will serve as its 8th chairperson and the second Mindanaoan woman to head the agency.

“As MinDA Chair, she will lead in coordinating, harmonizing, and integrating various socioeconomic development efforts for Mindanao with inter-regional, Mindanao-wide, and sub-regional impacts,” MinDA said.

The agency said Acosta will also act as “the Philippine Signing Minister leading the participation of Mindanao and Palawan as country’s BIMPEAGA focus areas given MinDA’s mandate as the permanent Philippine Coordinating Office for BIMP-EAGA (PCOBE) under RA 9996.”

Duterte sets to work even during holiday break to focus on recovery, rehab efforts

Maris Federez   •   December 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte said he will be going around areas severely affected by Typhoon Odette during the holiday break to focus on the recovery and rehabilitation efforts and closely monitor the distribution of relief goods to calamity victims.

Duterte made the announcement during his visit to Puerto Princesa City, Palawan which was also ravaged by the typhoon.

“So titingnan namin, hanggang pasko magtatrabaho ako. Hindi ako mag-new year. Talagang lalabas ako. Sabi ko mag-overtime kami gobyerno, hindi magsara maski na pasko,” Duterte said.

“Sabi ko magsakripisyo na muna tayo tutal marami nang pasko sa buhay natin, sobra-sobra na. Itong pasko na ito ibigay natin sa tao,” he added.

Aside from Palawan, the President also visited Cebu, Siargao, Dinagat Islands, Negros Occidental, Leyte, and Bohol.

The Chief Executive also apologized for the delay in the government’s response.

“Maghingi ako ng tawad na napatagal ang response sa gobyerno. Sa totoo lang, hirap din kami dito sa taas because of the so many places scattered around at malalayo. Pati yung pera. Alam mo kasi maraming nagsasalita. Yung calamity fund, up to sa mga mayors, kailangan may report ang damage ng isang lugar bago ma-release ang pera,” he explained.

Based on the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council report, around 52,000 families were rendered homeless by the typhoon this holiday season. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Duterte visits areas affected by Typhoon Odette

Maris Federez   •   December 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday (December 18) visited the areas severely battered by Typhoon Odette.

The President was accompanied by Senator Christopher Lawrence ‘Bong’ Go and other government officials.

In a brief statement sent to reporters, Senator Go said that they first flew to Maasin in Southern Leyte. There, the President met with local government officials and heads of concerned national government agencies to assess the situation and damage brought by the typhoon.

They then proceeded to Surigao City in Surigao del Norte where he also met with local government units and with Dinagat Island officials.

The President and his team conducted an aerial survey in the typhoon-stricken areas and saw the damage firsthand.

Go said that the president summoned the officials of the Departments of Energy, Agriculture, Social Welfare and Development, Public Works and Highways, the National Housing Authority, and the Office of the Civil Defense.

Go reported that there were many people stranded in Siargao.

The senator also noted the vast damage in infrastructure, as well as trees toppled by the strong winds brought by the typhoon.

Go said electric power and telecommunications were cut in major areas in the said provinces.

According to the senator, the President plans to visit Bohol and Cebu provinces on Sunday (December 19).

On Friday, the President expressed concern over the state of the people in the said typhoon-stricken areas.

“I’m not so much worried about damage to structures, infrastructures of government. Ang takot ko is maraming namatay,” the President said. —/mbmf

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