Marcos to serve as agriculture chief amid food crisis fears

Jun 20, 2022, 6:29 AM | Updated: 6:32 am
Philippine President-elect Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., center, gestures during a press confere...

Philippine President-elect Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., center, gestures during a press conference at his headquarters in Mandaluyong, Philippines on Monday, June 20, 2022. Marcos expressed fears Monday of a potential food crisis largely due to the war in Ukraine and said he would also serve as agriculture chief when he takes office to brace for possible emergencies. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

(AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. expressed concern Monday about rising food prices caused in part by the war in Ukraine and said he will serve as secretary of agriculture when he takes office to prepare for a possible emergency.

Marcos Jr. and Vice President-elect Sara Duterte take office June 30 after winning landslide victories in May 9 elections.

They will inherit daunting problems, including a coronavirus pandemic-battered economy, soaring inflation, unemployment and mounting foreign and domestic debt, in addition to longstanding poverty, insurgencies and political divisions.

After meeting with his designated finance, trade and economic secretaries, Marcos Jr. told reporters on Monday that he will temporarily serve as agriculture secretary and will reorganize the Department of Agriculture to foster an economic recovery following two years of coronavirus outbreaks and lockdowns.

“I think the problem is severe enough that I have decided to take on the portfolio of secretary of agriculture at least for now,” he said, adding he has asked his key advisers to anticipate “emergency situations, especially when it comes to food supply.”

Marcos Jr. said skyrocketing oil prices, disruptions in the supply of agricultural feed, and decisions by Thailand and Vietnam to temporarily restrict exports of rice — a key staple for Filipinos — could send food prices higher.

Marcos Jr. has named about two dozen Cabinet members so far, including his economic team, a temporary defense chief and a national security adviser. A key appointee who has drawn attention is Juan Ponce Enrile, a 98-year-old retired politician and lawyer who will serve as presidential legal counsel.

Enrile was the defense chief who defected with his forces from Marcos Jr.’s dictator father in 1986 in a turbulent series of events that led to the army-backed “People Power” pro-democracy uprising that toppled the elder Marcos.

The dictator was driven into exile in the United States with his family and died in Hawaii in 1989. His widow, Imelda Marcos, and her children were allowed to return to the Philippines in 1991 and accomplished a stunning political comeback, helped by a well-funded social media campaign to refurbish the family name that had been tarnished by human rights atrocities and plunder during the Marcos dictatorship.

Enrile has since reconciled with the Marcoses and backed Marcos Jr.’s presidential run.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


FILE - UCLA guard Jaime Jaquez Jr., right, tries to get by Southern California forward Isaiah Moble...
Associated Press

Big Ten votes to add USC, UCLA as members starting in 2024

In a surprising and seismic shift in college athletics, the Big Ten voted Thursday to add Southern California and UCLA as conference members beginning in 2024. The expansion to 16 teams will happen after the Pac-12’s current media rights contracts with Fox and ESPN expire and make the Big Ten the first conference to stretch […]
19 hours ago
FILE—Plastic bottles of shampoo are displayed at Compton's Market in Sacramento, Calif., Friday, ...
Associated Press

California sets nation’s toughest plastics reduction rules

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Companies selling shampoo, food and other products wrapped in plastic have a decade to cut down on their use of the polluting material if they want their wares on California store shelves. Major legislation passed and signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday aims to significantly reduce single-use plastic packaging in […]
19 hours ago
Associated Press

American offers to boost pilot pay 17% by the end of 2024

DALLAS (AP) — American Airlines is offering pilots raises of nearly 17% by the end of 2024, a sign of the leverage that pilots enjoy as airlines struggle with a labor shortage. CEO Robert Isom said Thursday that the proposal would boost pilot wages at American to the levels detailed in a tentative agreement between […]
19 hours ago
In this artists rendering provided by the Oakland Athletics is a home plate view of their proposed ...
Associated Press

Agency clears way for Oakland Athletics $12B ballpark plan

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A California agency on Thursday cleared the way for the Oakland Athletics to continue planning a $12 billion waterfront ballpark project. The San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission voted 23-2 to reclassify a 56-acre terminal at the Port of Oakland as a mixed-use area where a new ballpark could be […]
19 hours ago
Associated Press

MS-13 member pleads guilty to luring 15-year-old to killers

CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (AP) — A teenage member of the MS-13 gang pleaded guilty Thursday to charges she lured a 15-year-old boy to his death in 2019 on Long Island. Lidia DelCarmen-Rodriguez, 19, pleaded guilty in federal court to a single count of aiding and abetting the murder of 15-year-old Jasson Medrano-Molina in Central Islip. […]
19 hours ago
Associated Press

Cruise ship that hit iceberg arrives in Seattle for repairs

SEATTLE (AP) — A cruise ship that struck an iceberg in Alaska has docked in Seattle for repairs. The Norwegian Sun arrived in Seattle on Thursday. It hit part of an iceberg on Saturday near Hubbard Glacier in Alaska. The ship was turned around to Juneau, where it underwent inspection. It was cleared to travel […]
19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
Day & Night Air

Tips to lower your energy bill in the Arizona heat

Does your summer electric bill make you groan? Are you looking for effective ways to reduce your bill?
Marcos to serve as agriculture chief amid food crisis fears