Due to his contribution to agriculture industry
ALANGALANG, Leyte- Apparently enamored with the multi-billion peso rice facility project built by Patrick Renucci, President Rodrigo Duterte directed Solicitor General Jose Calida to look if the French national could be naturalized as a Filipino.
The President made this declaration during his visit to the Chin Yi Agriventures Rice Processing Complex located in Barangay Mudburon, this town, last Friday (July 5).
The Chief Executive lead in the formal inauguration of the P1.5 billion facility sprawled in 8-hectare lot owned by Renucci and his wife Rachel.
Mr. Duterte, in his speech during the event, said that considering what Renucci has done to help the farmers and the agriculture sector in the country by building the state-of-the-art rice complex, he believes he deserves to become a naturalized Filipino citizen.
He added that while there is a law on how a foreigner like Renucci could acquire a Filipino citizenship, he is willing ‘to cut corners’ in the case of the French national.
“I said few in my life, people who would come to, come here and try to help my fellowmen. Kaya I feel like almost maybe sentimental now because I’ve seen the complex that you have built for my countrymen,” he said.
And addressing to Calida, the President said:” Di ba may administrative yan? Well, kindly work on it because actually Patrick is very much willing to become a Filipino citizen. And if we can do that in a jiffy, hurry up,” he said.
The President even said that he is even willing to ‘cut corners’ and just issue an executive order.
Then, he added that if Renucci eventually become a naturalized Filipino citizen, he might just name him at his Cabinet.
“Maye I’ll try-experimental lang naman. If he becomes a naturalized citizen, then I think he is qualified to be a member of the Cabinet. Then I can maybe ask Sir Patrick that you join us and help us because it’s really agriculture,” the President said.
Renucci and his wife came to the country, particularly in Leyte, in 2015, two years after the province was devastated by super typhoon ‘Yolanda.’
According to the couple, whose been living in Europe, they decided to put up the facility to help farmers, in particular have sustainable livelihood, as they were the most affected by the disaster as they noticed that there were several arable lands but the farmers were lacking of assistance and skills to improve their living condition.
The vast complex, built at P1.5 billion, is considered to be the most technologically advanced such facility in Southeast Asia where the milling, drying, and packaging are being done by automation using a Japanese technology.
For his Agriculture Sec. Manny Piñol also expressed his gratitude to the Renucci couple for coming up such facility.
“In behalf of the DA and the rice farmers of Alangalang, I would like to extend to them our great appreciation and I pray that this project will be replicated elsewhere in the country so that our rice farmers would have a fighting chance in competing foreign-produce rice,” he said.
(JOEY A. GABIETA)