Should PBBM also handle DOE? Salceda sounds off

Published July 4, 2022, 10:03 AM

by Ellson Quismorio

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. will prioritize food security as temporary Department of Agriculture (DA) secretary, but he is also expected to keep a close eye on energy matters.

Albay 2nd district Rep. Joey Salceda (left) and President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (Facebook, Lakas-CMD Media)

Albay 2nd district Rep. Joey Salceda gave this assessment Monday, July 4, when asked by this reporter if it would be too much for Marcos to also handle the Department of Energy (DOE) portfolio.

“The President will probably be best able to handle one agency at a time. Food security appears to be his priority above all others,” Salceda said.

“But he had paid almost equal attention in his statements to energy, particularly indigenous and renewable energy. So he will be very closely watching that sector,” noted the economist-solon.

Marcos was praised when he announced last month that he would serve as DA chief for the time being in order to prepare the agency for looming food crisis.

Salceda had earlier said that poor Filipinos would be hard-hit by such crisis.

“It’s also correct that the food and energy sectors are intimately connected,” Salceda said.

“Fisherfolk account for the sector with the largest oil component as share of total inputs. For that sector, as much as 12 percent of costs is oil. Food security will also inevitably require widespread mechanization, and energy will have a massive role there,” he explained.

“I am sure PBBM will keep a close eye on energy,” the Bicolano concluded.

Local pump prices of fuel have skyrocketed this year due to the resurgence of global economic activities from the Covid-19 pandemic as well as the effects of the Russia-Ukraine war.