Statement: DA on the untimely demise of former DA Secretary Escudero, August 14, 2012

Statement of the Department of Agriculture:
On the untimely demise of former Secretary of Agriculture Salvador H. Escudero III

[Released on August 14, 2012]

The officials and employees of the Department of Agriculture (DA) nationwide, led by Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala, extend their deepest sympathy and condolences to the family and loved ones of former Agriculture Secretary Salvador H. Escudero III.

“We are saddened by his untimely demise, and we share the grief of his family, friends, relatives and constituents, and we wish that they will find solace and strength in his memories,” Secretary Alcala said. “Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with them as they gradually overcome this moment of grief.”

Until the end, Sec Escudero was a staunch supporter of the agriculture sector and has valiantly committed efforts for the advancement of the farmers and their families.

The late Secretary “Sonny” Escudero or SHE (his initials), as he was fondly called by DA officials and employees, has served the DA as Director of the Bureau of Animal Industry, from 1975-1984, and as Minister of Agriculture and Food (MAF) from 1984 to 1986.

During his first term, he implemented then the Intensive Rice Production Program (IRPP), and an expanded animal dispersal program, particularly the ‘Bakahang Barangay(cattle raising at the village level) and ‘Pagbababuyan’ (swine raising).

In 1996, he was appointed by former President Fidel Ramos and served for the second time as DA Secretary. During that time, he launched the Gintong Ani food production and security program. He also organized subsistence farmers into functional groups and cooperatives, aimed at transforming them into viable producers and entrepreneurs.

Prior to his stint at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, he served as Dean of the UPLB College of Veterinary Medicine, from 1970 to 1984.

Congressman Escudero had been part of the legislature from 1984 to 1986. He was reelected to the House of Representatives from 1987 to 1998 and again won as a congressman during the 2010 elections. He had authored several major legislations that included amendments to the Local Government Code, automatic promotion of government officials and employees upon retirement from government service, and restoring the criminal liability of a person under 18 years of age.

He was also a member of various committees such as Agrarian Reform, Agriculture and Food, Aquaculture and Fisheries Resources, Bicol Recovery and Economic Development, Civil Service and Professional Regulation, Higher and Technical Education, Population and Family Relations.