A House deputy majority leader has described as "ballsy" the decision of President-elect Bongbong Marcos to take on the role of Department of Agriculture (DA) secretary amid a looming food crisis.
"I think it shows great leadership," Camiguin lone district Rep. Xavier Jesus "XJ" Romualdo said on Wednesday, June 22.
"The sector and the department have immense problems and to have the incoming President essentially say 'I’m personally going to take charge and be accountable for agriculture in the country'—that’s ballsy. To me, that’s bold leadership," underscored Romualdo.
Last Monday, Marcos held an impromptu press conference essentially to announce that he would temporarily act as the agriculture chief in his incoming administration.
He laid out general points as to how he would try to tackle the food crisis, which would undoubtedly hit poor Filipino households hard.
" mentioned two things that he’ll initially prioritize: increase rice production and restructure and reform the DA. I think he’s on the right track," commented Romualdo, who was elected as Camiguin governor during the May 9, 2022 elections.
According to the outgoing congressman, increasing production and supply "would certainly lead to lower prices for consumers and reforms are badly needed in the agriculture department".
Echoing Marcos's sentiments about the DA, Romualdo said, "What the department has been doing over the years just won’t cut it anymore."
"It needs to be reformed to adapt and respond to new circumstances, as well as emerging ones, and thus be able to deliver the appropriate support to the agriculture sector," he added.