Former Agriculture secretary Emmanuel Piñol took his oath of office as chairman of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) on Wednesday before Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea in Malacañang.
As the new MinDA chairman, Piñol carries the rank of a Cabinet secretary.
The position of MinDA chairman has a fixed term of six years to ensure sustainability of all initiatives beyond the term of the incumbent Philippine president.
In a statement, Piñol said his new responsibility is a multi-task job to include agriculture, trade and commerce, international relations and even security concerns.
The MinDA chairman is also the Philippine government’s representative to the Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines East Asia Growth Area Regional Grouping.
Piñol said his added task was to serve as President Rodrigo Duterte’s “point person” in the newly formed Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
“This will also bring me closer to my family and, of course, my farm. Just as when I was secretary of Agriculture I will work just as hard,” he added.
Piñol explained that he resigned as Agriculture secretary because he was “[a]t odds with the economic managers [of the President] and a very powerful political personality.”