THE Department of Agriculture (DA) is set to appoint a new undersecretary who will be tasked with overseeing the DA’s attached agencies.

“With the size of the DA’s coverage, someone needs to focus on each area. Because the DA covers (a wide range of industries from) vegetables to fish to meat… to irrigation,” Agriculture Secretary Francisco P. Tiu Laurel, Jr. told reporters.

He said roles within the DA are varied enough to accommodate even people from the private sector.

“As I said before, there are lots of appointments within the DA. There are also industry players na nakakasama ko dati (who I worked with previously),” he said.

“Basically, it’s a whole of nation approach… and we invited everybody to join in. Para ’pag may direction tayo, lahat, isa-isa ’yung takbo (If we set a direction, all of us present a unified front),” Mr. Laurel added.

“(The DA) has about 29 bureaus and government-owned and -controlled corporations. It’s one of the most complicated departments, I think,” he said.

Last week, the department announced the appointment of Nora dela Cruz Oliveros as undersecretary in charge of finance, while Allan Q. Umali was appointed undersecretary for administration.

The DA’s impending 14th undersecretary, who was not identified, is already at work while awaiting an official appointment, he said. — Adrian H. Halili