Dar orders another re-shuffle at DA

Published January 13, 2021, 4:32 PM

by Madelaine B. Miraflor

Agriculture Secretary William Dar has ordered another re-shuffle of officials at the Department of Agriculture (DA), a move hoped to help agency achieve 2.5 percent growth for the farm sector. 

Agriculture Secretary William Dar (Photo credit: https://www.da.gov.ph/)

“We have survived the worst, rebooted our policies, and refocused our priorities. The next step is to pursue systematic and strategic approaches to further ‘grow’ the agri-fishery sector in strong and sustained partnerships with local government units, private sector, farmers’ and fishers’ groups, and other national government agencies,” the DA chief said.

Leading off the new designates is Leocadio Sebastian, who was appointed as undersecretary and serving in concurrent capacity as Chief-of-Staff (COS). 

He formerly served as executive director of the DA’s Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), and regional program leader of the CGIAR research program on climate change, agriculture and food security (CCAFS) in Southeast Asia, based in Vietnam.

Designated as assistant secretary (ASec) for operations is former DA regional field office (RFO) 4-A regional executive director (RED) Arnel de Mesa, vice ASec Andrew Villacorta who retired.

The other officials designated to lead respective RFOs, attached agencies, and staff bureaus are: Dr. Liza Battad, executive director, Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries (PCAF), and concurrent ASec for regulations; Dr. Jocelyn Salvador, OIC-executive director, National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS); Dr. Orlando Ongsotto, NMIS assistant director, field operations; Dr. Beata Obsioma, NMIS ass’t. dir.,  administration and finance; Dr. Ronnie Domingo, OIC-director, Philippine Carabao Center (PCC); Dr. Claro Mingala, PCC ass’t. dir., production and research; Dr. Caro Salces, PCC ass’t. dir., administration and finance; Dr. Reildrin Morales, OIC-dir., Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI); Dr. Samuel Animas, BAI OIC-ass’t dir., regulations and diseases; Dr. Rene Santiago, BAI OIC-ass’t dir., production and research; and Lamberto Cruz, Jr.,  BAI OIC-ass’t dir., administration and finance; among others.

Other designations are Romulo Crucillo, OIC, Region IV, Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (FPA); Engr. Pablo Montalla, OIC-director, Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM); Dr. Eduardo Lapuz, RFO3, OIC-regional technical dir. (RTD) for operations; Dr. Arthur Dayrit, RFO3 OIC-RTD for research and regulations; Vilma Dimaculangan, OIC-RED, RFO4-A; Avelita Rosales, OIC-RTD for research, RFO 4-A; Dr. Dionisio Alvindia, OIC-dir., Field Operations Service (FOS); Joell Lales, OIC-ass’t. dir., Bureau of Agriculture Research (BAR); Angelita Martir, OIC-chief, special project coordination and management assistance division (SPCMAD); Atty. Jane Bacayo, exec. dir., minimum access volume (MAV), and concurrent head of Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund program management secretariat (ACEF-PMS); Nazario Briguera, OIC, BFAR-NFARMC program management center; and Usop Pendaliday, Jr., OIC, Mindanao Freshwater Fisheries Technology Center, Cotabato.

It was November last year when Dar first decided to shake things up at the DA, announcing the first major reshuffle under his leadership.  

This was a year and three months upon taking over the DA.