The Commission on Appointments (CA) confirmed the appointment of Dr. William Dar as the secretary of the Department of Agriculture (DA).
Dar vowed to lead the agriculture sector of the country towards sustainable food security and prosperous rural communities, bringing with him several decades of leadership and management experience from various local and international agricultural research organizations he served.
“Our goal is two-fold. First, we aim to establish a food-secure Philippines where food is plentiful at competitive prices for consumers in the domestic front. Second, we want to assure our farmers and fishermen greater earnings by making them net exporters of food,” Dar said.
The newly-confirmed chief said the DA is now confident that it could transform the current development system to make farmers and fishers better equipped, prepared, and free to prosper against tougher odds and greater global competition.
Dar said he will re-introduce his own brand of servant leadership, a leadership style characterized by a sincere desire to serve others and to collaborate for greater good. He once served as Secretary of DA from July 1998 to May 1999 during the time of then President Joseph Estrada.
He also served as Presidential Advisor on Food Security (1999) and Executive Director, National Agricultural and Fishery Council (1998).
“And now that I have returned to the DA, I vow to steer the Philippine agricultural sector towards increased farm productivity and incomes through a servant leadership that inspires and cascades down to every level of management in the DA and inspires the leadership of the LGUs and other groups of agricultural stakeholders,” he said.
Dar has been acting agriculture chief since August this year. He introduced the New Thinking for Agriculture as a development framework built on paradigms for agro-industrialization, sustainability, and climate resiliency to respond to the agri sector woes.
Immediately upon assumption of office, Dar faced challenges on the implementation of the Rice Tariffication Law and the falling palay prices, the spread of African Swine Fever, among other threats to food production in the country.
In his first 100 days in office, the agri-fishery sector recorded a 2.87% growth in performance for the third quarter of the year.
“All Filipinos have my unwavering commitment to continue ushering our agriculture sector towards a food-secure nation with prosperous farmers and fisherfolk,” Dar said.
Dar faced a 14-member CA panel Tuesday, December 17, which recommended his confirmation after almost three hours of discussion. The panel was chaired by Rep. Florencio Noel of AN-WARAY Partylist.