Senatorial aspirant Piñol eyes to make the country 'food sufficient'

Published October 8, 2021, 12:27 PM

by Jel Santos

4PINOL

Targeting to oppose rice tarrification and importation policies among others, former Department of Agriculture Chief Manny Piñol filed his certificate of candidacy for senator on Friday, October 8, at the Sofitel Hotel in Pasay City.

Running under the senatorial slate of Lacson-Sotto tandem, where Senator Ping Lacson is gunning for the position of president with runningmate Senate President Vicente “Tito” C. Sotto III, Piñol intends to make the country “food sufficient” using the knowledge he acquired and th problems he saw while serving in the agriculture sector.

“Unfortunately, agriculture and fisheries do not have a fair share of the national budget pie. Kung titingnan po natin ang taunang budget ng ating bansa, humigit-kumulang dalawang porsyento po lamang ng budget ang napupunta sa agrikultura at pangingisda. And yet, we want out farmers to produce more. We want our farmers to be competitive (Unfortunately, agriculture and fisheries do not have a fair share of the national budget pie. If we would take a look at our country’s annual budget, more or less two percent only goes to the agriculture and fisheries sector. And yet, we want out farmers to produce more. We want our farmers to be competitive),” he noted during the filing.

“I am running for the Senate because I believe we have to pass enabling laws and promote policies that will promote productivity and food sufficiency in this country. By improving agriculture productivity, we will be creating a lot of side in the countryside. At sana po dumating ang panahon na tayo po ay hindi na mag-i-import ng bigas, ng karne ng baboy, ng manok (I am running for the Senate because I believe we have to pass enabling laws and promote policies that will promote productivity and food sufficiency in this country. By improving agriculture productivity, we will be creating a lot of side in the countryside. And hopefully, someday, we won’t need to import rice and meat anymore),” he added.

In June 2019, Piñol resigned as secretary of DA amid reports that Pres. Duterte was not satisfied with his performance. On Aug. 6, 2019, Pres. Duterte appointed him as Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) chairperson.

The senatorial aspirant maintained that the president is still a good friend of him, and supporting his bid depends on the latter and will not affect their personal relationship.

“I wrote him a letter, dated October 5, thanking him for the opportunity of serving the government as Secretary of Department of Agriculture and chairman of Mindanao Development Authority,” he added.

Before entering politics, he worked as a print and broadcast journalist. From 1995 to 1998, Piñol served as Municipal mayor of M’lang. He also served as governor of North Cotabato Governor from 1998 to 2007, and was also elected Cotabato vice governor in 2007.

 
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