MALACAÑANG on Tuesday, August 6, confirmed that President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed William Dar as the new acting Department of Agriculture Secretary and Wendel Avisado as the new acting Department of Budget and Management Secretary.
"We welcome these two distinguished gentlemen to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte's official family," Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
Dar is not a former military man, but an agriculture expert, having served among others DA Secretary under the Joseph Estrada Ejercito administration and as Director General of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (Icrisat).
Avisado is a Presidential Assistant and a former Davao City administrator.
Former Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, meanwhile, was appointed as chairperson of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) for the next six years. The MinDA post is also part of the Cabinet.
Piñol submitted his resignation as DA chief two months ago, citing it will be for the "best interest of the Department and the stakeholders."
"As announced by Senator Bong Go, my differences with the economic managers on very critical issues, especially the rice liberalization, have made my stay at the DA untenable," Piñol said in a social media post.
He said his new task will still deal mainly with the agriculture sector as the Mindanao economy is agriculture-based.
As MinDA chief, he said he will focus on the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and represent the country to the BIMP-EAGA (Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines - East Asean Growth Area).
Panelo also confirmed the appointment of Rodil Zalameda of the Court of Appeals as a new Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
"We expect the new Justice to serve the High Court with competence, integrity, and fidelity to our Constitution and serve justice to each person with dispatch," Panelo said. (MVI/SunStar Philippines)