Department of Agriculture chief completes ‘dream team,’ biggest in agency history

Bella Cariaso - The Philippine Star
Department of Agriculture chief completes �dream team,� biggest in agency history
Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — The “dream team” of Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr. is already complete, with 26 undersecretaries and assistant secretaries, the biggest number in the history of the Department of Agriculture (DA).

In an interview, Agriculture Assistant Secretary and spokesman Arnel de Mesa said that the last official to be appointed to complete the dream team was Assistant Secretary for administration Allen Kristopher Anarna.

“According to Secretary (Tiu Laurel), his team is already complete. The last to join was Assistant Secretary Anarna,” De Mesa said.

At least 13 were appointed as undersecretaries and 13 officials were designated as assistant secretaries.

De Mesa said that the last appointment for the undersecretary post to be issued by the Office of the President was Undersecretary for policy, planning and regulations Asis Perez.

“We were waiting for his (Asis appointment paper), it already came out,” he added.

Aside from Asis, the other undersecretaries are Roger Navarro (operations), Christopher Morales (rice industry development), Allan Umali (administration), Nora Oliveros (finance), Drusila Esther Bayate (fisheries), Zamzamin Ampatuan (Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao), Mercedita Sombilla (bureaus), Agnes Catherine Miranda (attached agencies and corporations), Deogracias Victor Savellano (livestock), Jerome Oliveros (special concerns and official development assistance), chief of staff Alvin John Balagbag (inspectorate and enforcement) and Cheryl Marie Natividad-Caballero (high value crops).

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