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Agri chief designates new officials as part of “rebooting” DA team

Author: DA Communications Group | 6 November 2020

As part of his continuing efforts to streamline and efficiently implement major agricultural and fishery programs, Agriculture Secretary William Dar designated new officials to comprise the “rebooted” DA management team.

“In any organization, there should be continuous streamlining to make the team responsive to the changing times, and also ensure that only the right people, with the necessary skills, are in the right places to produce the desired outcomes,” said Secretary Dar.

“Let us solidify our commitment by virtuously and conscientiously practice good governance—with the highest integrity, and no hint of corruption nor delay— in the discharge and implementation of our duties to the Filipino people. Let us serve them with our utmost integrity and competence,” he added.

Leading off the new designates is former Chief-of-Staff (COS) undersecretary (Usec) Cheryl Marie Natividad-Caballero as usec for agri-industrialization and for fisheries.

As undersecretary for agri-industrialization, she will supervise the implementation of strategic initiatives, particularly the setting up of Agri-industrial Business Corridors (ABCs) nationwide, and implementation of inclusive agribusiness programs; and as Usec for fisheries, oversee crafting and implementation of policies and programs to further enhance the performance and contribution of the aquaculture, municipal and commercial fishing sectors to the national economy. She is also tasked to oversee the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Philippine Fisheries Development Authority (PFDA), and other offices related to fisheries.

Designated as new chief of staff (COS) is Dr. Leocadio Sebastian, former executive director of the Philippine Rice Research Institute, and regional program leader of the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) in Southeast Asia.

He is assisted by Dr. Carmencita Kagaoan as deputy COS for programs; and Alexander Arizabal, Jr. as deputy COS for operations, in concurrent capacity as head executive assistant.

Meanwhile, Dr. Liza Battad, OIC-executive director of the Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries (PCAF) is designated, in a concurrent capacity, as the new assistant secretary-designate for regulations.

Secretary Dar also designated several officials to lead respective DA attached agencies and staff bureaus, namely:

  • Myer Mula as OIC-director of the Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Product Standards (BAFS), in a concurrent capacity as director of the DA Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD);
  • Vivencio Mamaril, formerly head of BAFS, as director of the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR). He replaced Dr. Nicomedes Eleazar, who opted to retire early;
  • Eric Divinagracia as deputy executive director of the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (FPA); and
  • Claro Mingala as OIC-executive director of the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC); and
  • Paul Limson, as OIC-assistant director, Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI).

To streamline the operations of the DA’s Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), Secretary Dar also designated two assistant directors to join current BPI Assistant Director Gerald Glenn Panganiban, namely: Andres Alemania, for regulatory; and Dr. Jonar Yago, for research and development and pest management

Several officials were also designated at the DA-BFAR, namely:

  • Juan Albaladejo, as OIC-assistant director for operations. He joins two other assistant directors: Dr. Drusila Esther Bayate, for research; and Atty. Demosthenes Escoto, for administrative services;
  • Raul Millana, as director for Davao or region 11;
  • Alfeo Piloton, director for region 12; and
  • Rosario Segundina Gaerlan, OIC-director for region 1.

Meanwhile, Dir. Nestor Domenden, formerly DA-BFAR region 1 director, is designated as OIC-regional executive director of DA-Regional Field Office 1.

To implement other DA programs and projects, Secretary Dar designated the following officials:

  • Rosana Mula, as program director for youth, in a concurrent capacity as assistant director of the Agricultural Training Institute;
  • Dionisio Alvindia, formerly of the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech), as project director for Rice Resiliency Project;
  • Lucia Campomanes, as assistant director for the Kabuhayan at Kaunlaran ng Kababayang Katutubo (4K) Program; and
  • Deputy Executive Director Annray Rivera-Capili of the Philippine Fiber Development Authority (PhilFIDA), as program director for gender equality and social inclusion.

As the DA continues on implementing various initiatives under the Plant, Plant, Plant program, specifically, short-gestating and high-impact projects that will provide sustainable food, livelihood, and incomes to Filipino households, Secretary Dar leads all officials and staff to pledge a covenant of good governance and no to corruption.

“We must cleanse the tarnished image of the DA as a corrupt agency by working together and diminish, once and for all, such lingering bad reputation. Always bear in our hearts and minds that a public office is a public trust,” he reminded colleagues at a recent management committee (ManCom) meeting. ### (Rita dela Cruz, DA StratComms)

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