'Humble' DA chief receives nice compliment from Duterte

Published August 10, 2021, 1:13 PM

by Betheena Unite

Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary William Dar received a nice compliment from President Duterte during late Monday night’s “Talk to the Nation” public briefing.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar (Photo courtesy of Malacañang)

In the pre-recorded briefing on Aug. 9, Dar reported to the President that there was enough food for Filipinos nationwide despite the restrictions caused by the ongoing enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila and several other areas in the country.

“May sapat po tayong pagkain sa buong bansa. Dito po sa National Capital Region (NCR), tuloy-tuloy po ang suplay ng pagkain mula sa iba’t ibang probinsiya sa Luzon (We have enough food nationwide. Here in NCR, the food supply from various provinces is unhampered)” he said.

There is also ample vegetable supply despite the slight increase in prices for the usual ingredients of pinakbet” and chop suey due to the recent onslaught of typhoon Fabian and the southwest monsoon rains.

Dar also reported that meat prices were “stable” at present. He said frozen kasim and pigue both cost P220 per kilo while frozen liempo costs P250 per kilo.

On the other hand, prices for fresh pork have gone down significantly from last summer’s price levels when they reached P400 per kilo.

President Duterte couldn’t help but speak his mind after hearing the DA chief’s presentation.

“Alam mo Secretary Dar panay ang hingi mo ng patawad at (You know, Secretary Dar, you keep apologizing and) you are too humble to even just give yourself a good pat at the back for coming up with splendid agricultural development,” Duterte said.

He further commended the agriculture chief by saying, “You have achieved the plans you presented to the Cabinet before and you are able to facilitate and improve the climate of our agricultural picture.”

Dar had faced backlash from farmers over various issues such as his handling of the African Swine Fever outbreak in the country, the implementation of the expanded minimum access volume for pork imports, rampant misdeclaration of agricultural commodities, and the soaring prices of agricultural products.