FORMER Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol on Wednesday, August 14, took oath as chairman of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) before Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.
Piñol was tapped by Duterte as MinDA head on August 5, the same day that his successor, William Dar, took oath as acting Agriculture chief.
In a social media post, Piñol said he will serve as MinDA chief for six years. The post carries the rank of Secretary and is part of the Cabinet.
"This new responsibility is a multi-task job to include agriculture, trade and commerce, international relations and even security concerns.
The MinDA chairperson is also the Philippine government's representative to the Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines East Asia Growth Area Regional Group ( BIMP-EAGA).
"My added task is to serve as President Rody Duterte's 'point person' to the newly formed Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Barmm)," he said.
"This will also bring me closer to my family and, of course, my farm," he added.
On June 27, 2019, Piñol sent a letter to Duterte, expressing his intent to resign as head of the Department and Agriculture and be reassigned to MinDA.
Duterte, in a speech delivered on July 17, explained that Piñol is the most qualified person to lead the MinDA.
"Ang problema, ako, kasi wala akong tao (The problem is I have no point man] since the [creation of] Barmm. There is nobody on my side dito (here), talking to the Barmm to make the necessary arrangements for this entity to grow and their needs," he said.
"It's Piñol who's moving to another entity. Piñol is a very good Cabinet member," he added. (SunStar Philippines)