Lomibao Appointed Head of National Irrigation Administration

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID CAGAHASTIAN

President Arroyo has appointed former Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Arturo Lomibao as administrator of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) under the Department of Agriculture, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita announced yesterday.

Government Mass Media Group (GMMG) chief Cerge Remonde has also been appointed head of the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) replacing NAPC Lead Convenor Zam-zamin Ampatuan who will head the reactivated Southern Philippines Development Authority (SPDA).

Ermita said Mrs. Arroyo has appointed Lomibao for the "management and executive skills" he demonstrated in initiating reforms at the PNP during his stint there as director general.

"The President felt that his skills should be harnessed, and besides, he has the confidence of the President," Ermita said in a press conference.

Ermita defended the President's appointment against criticisms that the Arroyo administration had been militarizing the bureaucracy with the appointment of former generals and police chiefs to important posts that have not much to do with ensuring the country's security.

"Let's put it this way, the President is the appointing authority, and all aspects in governance have something to do with security," Ermita said, citing "security implications" even in the affairs of the Deparment of Health and NIA, a government-owned and controlled corporation under the DA.

He added that even the Department of Transportation and Communication (DoTC), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) -- all of which are headed by either former generals or police chiefs -- have to deal with security issues sometimes. …