Wife of Duterte’s campaign spokesperson named agriculture undersecretary

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/09 June) — The wife of President- elect Rodrigo R. Duterte’s campaign team spokesperson Peter T. Laviña has been named as agriculture undersecretary.

Laviña, in his Facebook post Thursday confirmed that wife Evelyn will sit as undersecretary focusing on high value crops.

“This is not to blow the horn for my wife Evelyn G Lavina. But I have to give her background why she was taken in by Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Pinol as one of his undersecretaries and assigned to handle high value crops. It’s all actually about her and not me as one of the those involved in the campaign of President Rody Duterte,” he said.

Mr. Laviña said that his wife studied pharmacy and the medicinal values of plants and later helped in managing the family-owned rice farm and fishponds in Davao del Norte.

She is of the pioneers in catfish production there, he added.

Mrs. Laviña was eldest of the eight Gonzales siblings from Balanga, Bataan, her husband said.

Her family used to own a 30-hectare fishpond in Davao del Norte which was converted into a mango plantation in “where they intercropped it with coffee and cacao.”

Mrs. Laviña was also affiliated with several floral and agriculture-based organizations such as Cacao Industry Development Association of Mindanao Inc. as founding treasurer.

She served as vice president for agribusiness of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce & Industry Inc. “where she developed an extensive network among those involved in high value crops like banana, pineapple, mango, vegetables, livestock, poultry, coconut, oil palm, aquaculture, herbal plants, organic farming, hydroponics, among others.”

She heads the Floriculture Industry of Davao Inc. and ventured into landscaping business while being active in orchids and ornamental plant business.

“She was active in many flower organizations at the local and national levels including the Philippine Orchid Society,” the husband said.

Mrs. Lavina is a current member of the Davao Food Processors Association “and has studied product development, packaging and marketing doing benchmarking in Japan, China, Hong Kong and Thailand.”

Being an agribusiness advocate, she has worked DA, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Trade and Industry, and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)