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DA Secretary Alcala to stay up to 2016 -- President Aquino

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Despite clamor from some sectors for his resignation, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala will stay until 2016 and will not run for election next year.

This was announced by President Benigno S. Aquino III at the People's Organizations Congress, an event of the Mindanao Rural Development Program (MRDP) held at Grand Regal Hotel here.

"Sasamahan po ako ni Secretary Alcala hanggang sa 2016. Iba po talaga kapag si Secretary Alcala ang nagsalita, pihadong bukas-makalawa abot-kamay natin ang magandang resulta," the President said.

The Chief Executive acknowledged the effects of the MRDP in realizing the government’s initiatives to provide sufficient food and augment the income of the people.

"Sa pamamagitan naman ng MRDP, may kabalikat ang ating gobyerno sa pagkalinga sa kapakanan at pangangailangan ng mga kababayan natin sa Mindanao," he said.

"Hindi po biro ang laki at lawak ng tagumpay ng inyong samahan. Balita ko nga po, tumaas ang kita ng ating mga kababayan dito ng halos labimpitong porsyento buhat ng magsimula ang programa. Katumbas ito ng mahigit labing-isang libong piso na karagdagang kita kada taon," he said.

"Bukod sa mga ito, kaliwa’t kanan pa ang mga kongkretong patunay sa tagumpay ng MRDP. Kasama sa mahabang listahan nito ang kilo-kilometrong farm-to-market roads, mga tulay, patubig, at solar dryer. Idagdag pa rito ang pagpapagawa ng mga lansangan at agri-fishery infrastructure, na talaga naman pong nagpapaaliwalas at naghahatid ng oportunidad sa mga Mindanaoans," he said.

For his part, Alcala thanked the President for his confidence to lead the agriculture department.

"Ako ay nagpapasalamat sa Pangulong Aquino dahil nakakataba ng puso. Ito ay nagpapatunay na kuntento ang Pangulong Aquino sa mga isinasagawa kong programa para sa pagpapalakas ng produksiyon ng pagkain sa ating bansa," he said in a chance interview.

Earlier reports said some sectors want Alcala removed as DA chief because of his directive to increase reference price for pork and chicken imports.

Alcala downplayed such saying his appointment "is always in the hands of the President."

"Kahit ngayon puwede niya (Aquino) gawin 'yon (to remove him as DA chief)," he said.

One thing for sure, Alcala said, he will implement the increase in the reference price of pork and chicken imports.

by: PNA




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