QUEZON CITY – Newly-appointed Acting Secretary John Castriciones has called on the officers and personnel of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to work as a team to achieve the mandate of the department and realize the thrusts and programs of the administration of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.
“It is with great honor that I am here to be working with you as my team. I look at you as members of my family in my official capacity as the secretary and I enjoin everyone to please work with me as a team,” Castriciones said during the flag ceremony on Monday morning, December 11 at the DAR Central Office in Quezon City.Castriciones emphasized that working as a team is the key to an efficient and successful organization.
The new acting secretary also pointed out the marching orders of President Duterte, “that we should observe and implement his advocacy.”
DAR, he added, is mandated to help the poor farmers.
“A lot of our problems in the country have emanated with the social injustices and the most affected are the farmers,” Castriciones said, as he took note that around 70 percent of the Filipinos are still connected with agriculture.
“Farmers are victims of the long-standing injustice in our history. And because of this uneven distribution of lands, it has resulted in a lot of rebellions in the past,” he said.
Such injustice, he added, has also fueled the problem of insurgency in our country today.
Amidst the social injustices and the pressing problems that the Duterte administration and the Filipino people face, Castriciones urged the employees to move on and bring the programs and services of DAR to its clientele.
“Our role in the Department of Agrarian Reform is very important in the sense that we will have to give solutions to these long-standing problems.”
Working with the DAR and its workforce, he stressed, is the unbending and total support of the President in order to provide dignity to the landless and poor farmers.
He also challenged DAR employees to perform their duties, emphasizing that “we must do it, we must accomplish it because that is our mandate.
The acting secretary also acknowledged of the complicated problems that DAR is facing nowadays and encouraged DAR personnel to “balance our position because we are not only dealing with farmers, not only with pressure groups, interested people but also with landlords and people with the government.”
“Many of our problems today which is being addressed by the advocacy of our President like the illegal drugs, insurgency, poverty, criminality, and corruption stem from the fact that the basic reason or the underlying reason for all of these is poverty,” he said.
Poverty, he added, is caused by the fact that there a lot of social injustices happening in our country.
“The real solution is to address the issue of poverty and we will play our vital role in this because we are the Department of Agrarian Reform. You are lucky and fortunate because in the history of our people you will be recognized as having played a role in order to solve the problems of our society,” Castriciones emphasized.
Castriciones also asked DAR employees to go away with graft and corruption and that his leadership will fully implement the thrust of the President against such crime.
Fighting corruption, he pointed out, is an expression of support to President Duterte.
“We will not spare anyone. What we will do, we will do. What we ought to do, we will do because that is our task,” he said.
Castriciones also assured DAR officers and employees that “I am your partner. I am your friend. I am your brother, John.”
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