President Duterte appoints William Dar as new Agriculture secretary

Photo file via Politiko

President Rodigo Duterte has named William Dollente Dar as the new Department of Agriculture secretary in replacement of Manny Piñol, as confirmed by Senator Christopher “Bong” Go on Monday.

Dar has served as Acting Secretary of Agriculture and as Presidential Adviser on Rural Development from 1998 to 1999, during the administration of former president Erap Estrada.

Dar earned his bachelor’s degree in agricultural education and master’s degree in agronomy from the Benguet State University, and taken a PhD in horticulture from University of the Philippines Los 

The new Agriculture chief is a native of Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur and was the first Filipino who served as the director general of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT).

ICRISAT is a well-known international organization that conducts agricultural research for development in the dry lands of Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

Dar is also the founder of the InangLupa Movement, Inc., a social movement advocating for inclusive, science-based, resilient and market-oriented Philippine agriculture.

If recalled, Piñol filed his resignation as Agriculture Secretary in June amid an apparent rift between him and Duterte’s trusted economic managers.

His resignation came right after receiving backlash over the way he had dealt with the 22 Filipino fishermen who was abandoned and left floating in Recto Bank for several hours after their boat sank following a maritime accident with a Chinese vessel.

It is also an open secret that Piñol and some of the President’s socio-economic managers do not agree most of the time when it comes to the government’s agriculture policies and decisions.

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