Game fowl breeder, rural dev’t learner is incoming DA chief
In appointing former North Cotabato governor Emmanuel Piñol as new agriculture secretary, presumptive president Rodrigo Duterte also handpicked a communicator, a rural development advocate, and a cockfighting aficionado.
Piñol, 63, graduated from the University of Southern Mindanao with a degree in Development Communication in 2006.
He obtained his masters in rural and economic development in 2008.
He is currently pursuing a doctorate in rural and economic development at the USM and a law degree at the Cor Jesu College in Digos City.
In between, he writes, takes care of his farm, breeds gamefowls and backyard poultry chicken, goes mountain climbing and plays golf.
Piñol said he will go around the country “silently” to look at the agriculture situation so that he could buckle down to work on Day One of the Duterte administration.
He also told radio station dzRH that Duterte wants to limit rice imports so that farmers may have a chance to produce their own crops.
He said the task of feeding 105 million Filipinos and ensuring the Department of Agriculture is corruption-free is very daunting. He is asking for prayers.
As governor of North Cotabato in 1998-2007 and vice governor in 2007-2009, he planned his province’s priority crops output to focus on rubber, oil palm, banana and coconut.
The approach transformed North Cotabato from one of the poorest provinces in the country to one of the Top 30 Provinces with Lowest Poverty Incidence.
His profile also said he designed the concept of corporate governance for local government units to generate revenues for LGUs dependent on their internal revenue allotment, while providing jobs for local residents.
Piñol was also a newspaper and radio reporter, editor of the Philippine News Agency, a sports columnist of Tempo Newspaper, a close-in writer of President Fidel Ramos, a boxing commentator, chairman of the Cotabato Sugar Mill, and mayor of M’lang town in 1995-1998.