The bicameral Commission on Appointments (CA) is all set to conduct its confirmation hearing on businessman Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr.’s ad interim appointment as agriculture secretary.
The CA’s committee on agriculture chaired by Bataan Rep. Albert Garcia has scheduled Tiu Laurel’s confirmation hearing on Dec. 5, according to CA Assistant Minority Leader and Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel.
“As far as we’re concerned, the biggest challenge that Secretary Tiu Laurel is facing now is how to swiftly modernize and boost the productivity of our agricultural sector,” Pimentel said.
“Right now, many Filipino families are struggling to put enough food on the table due to high prices,” Pimentel pointed out.
“We must increase domestic food production by leaps and bounds in the years ahead. This is the only way we can suppress unwanted upward pressures on food prices,” Pimentel said.
“If we look at Taiwan and other countries that produce large food supplies, their economies are also the least vulnerable to global inflationary threats,” Pimentel added.
Tiu Laurel ran the family-owned Frabelle Group of Companies before he was appointed by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to head the Department of Agriculture on Nov. 5.
The Frabelle Group of Companies holds diversified business through Frabelle Fishing Corp., Frabelle Cold Storage Corp., Westpac Meat Processing Corp., Eoana Canning and Food Processing Corp., Frabelle Shipyard Corp., and Frabelle Properties Corp.
The 25-member CA is empowered by the Constitution to vet the competence, fitness and integrity of key presidential appointees, including Cabinet members, and to approve or disapprove them.
Besides Tiu Laurel, reappointed Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa is also facing a new confirmation hearing, after he was bypassed by the CA in September.
Herbosa’s second confirmation hearing has yet to be scheduled by the CA’s committee on health chaired by Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go.
At least 55 foreign service officers are likewise awaiting their confirmation hearings before the CA.