Former Congressman Alcala named as new DA Secretary
The helm of Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary has been considered one of the more difficult roles to fill in the President’s cabinet. One reason seen is because of the agriculture sector’s role in national development. Another reason can be traced to a result of a survey recently, that Filipinos expect DA to provide food for them.
So the man chosen to have the controls to one of the largest bureaucracy in the government should be able to understand these expectations and responsibility. Having the grasp on all the operations of the Department in the country would be an advantage as well as the experience of working in the agriculture sector. Fortunately for Department, Secretary Proceso J. Alcala boasts these credentials.
Proceso ‘Procy’ J. Alcala served as a Congressman of the 2nd district of Quezon Province for two terms, and was the Vice Chairman on the Committee of Agriculture and Food. One would infer that this credential earned him the nod to lead the Department but if you dig deeper to his credentials you would find that several of his authored bills were leaned on the agriculture sector. He was already familiar to the dealings of the agriculture sector.
Perhaps Alcala’s crowning glory as a congressman was the establishment of the “Sentrong Pamilihan ng Produktong Agrikultura sa Quezon”. The main objective of this project was to give farmers an avenue to sell their products directly to consumers. With this project farmers in Quezon solved their problems in marketing their products, minimized the intervention of middlemen which on the other hand maximizes the income of the farmers. No less than President Benigno Aquino III, recognized this achievement as he said that was one of the basis on why he was selected as secretary.
Alcala’s other initiatives that related to agriculture included the Rehabilitation of Post-Harvest facilities in Quezon Province, supported students of agriculture through his scholarship program, promotion of sustainable agriculture in the 2nd district of Quezon and supported organic agriculture in relation to solid waste management. He also launched the PGMB or Procesong Gulay para sa Masaganang Buhay where the main objectives was to inculcate to the youth that agriculture should be our main thrust for development and to serve as the community learning farm for the farmers to adopt the alternative farming technologies and systems being practiced by elementary and secondary students.
Alcala is married to former Corazon Asuncion Maano and has three children. His son Irvin is his successor as the Congressman of the 2nd District of Quezon Province. He earned his Baccalaureate Degree in Civil Engineering in 1978.
With Alacala’s work experience and background in agriculture it is only fair to expect greater things from the Department that is geared towards national development. And with a man like Alcala the Department is in good hands.
Good hands indeed since Alcala vows to maintain a transparent leadership and enjoins DA officials and employees to provide efficient service and adequate support to small farmers and fishers so they can earn profitable income and produce enough food for all.(Benedict C. Natividad)
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