• Piñol slams ex-DA officials for inaction


    Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol has scored the past administration of the Department of Agriculture (DA) for failure to award the more than P100-million farm machinery and equipment that were left rusting at its compound in Tupi, South Cotobato.

    “While many farmers of Central Mindanao have to be content with using the slow- moving carabao to plow their rice fields, modern agriculture equipment worth over P100 million were left under the elements in the 35-hectare compound of the Department of Agriculture,” Piñol said in a statement.

    He noted that some equipment was bought about four years ago while the more expensive ones, including multi-million peso rice and corn harvesters and tractors, are about a year old.

    “What I saw gave me a mixed feeling of anger and pity,” Piñol said after a visit to the compound on Monday.

    He was informed by Officer-in-Charge Regional Director Carlene Collado, manning the post until the appointment papers of Milagros Casis are signed by President Rodrigo Duterte, that the machinery and equipment were not distributed because the farmers could not come up with a 15 percent cash equity required as their counterpart.

    The machinery and farm equipment were part of the DA’s farm mechanization program, which was implemented through counter-parting scheme where the DA shoulders 85 percent of the cost, while the qualified recipients pay the 15 percent.

    Collado said the cash equity was supposed to go to the dealer of the equipment to complete the payment.

    “Honestly, I do not understand why farmers would have to be asked to make the complete payment for machinery procured by the government. The government does not procure on installment or partial payment process,” Piñol said.

    Former DA-Region XII director Amalia Datukan was sacked after Piñol assumed office this month.

    50:50 solution
    To help farmers pay the cost of the machines, Piñol scrapped the 15:85 counter-parting scheme and proposed the 50:50 sharing of bill, of which the 50 percent of the beneficiaries’ share will be paid in four years.

    Meanwhile, the DA chief directed retired Philippine Marines Col. Danny Luna of the Internal Audit Service to come up with a report on this misuse of government funds and assets.

    “In the meantime, I have directed that the equipment be immediately rehabilitated, repaired and repainted and distributed to the farmers or the local government units,” Pinol said.

    He will also ask lawyers of the department to determine the administrative and criminal liability of the officials behind the procurement and non-distribution of the farm equipment.

    By keeping the equipment and machinery in the compound unused for a long period, Piñol said, the government was defrauded of valuable amount, making it “altogether wrong and immoral.”


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    1. Jose Samilin on

      I believed the proposed solution of 50:50 for 4 years is a solution. I suggest for the government to train equipment operators and rent out those equipment to farmers on a location-planned group basis for one peso per hectare or less per farmer. The government need not work for any return on investment.

    2. Ernesto Presinede on

      Gov. Pinol is one of the hardworking men of Pres. Duterte.
      He was already touring the country to know the farmers’ situation long before Pres. Duterte’ inauguration.

    3. How could this farmer give 15% equity of 100 million worth of farm machinery are this people in previous DA are all morons. First think that this people are farmers and how much this farmer earn if they have only a maximum 2 hectare of field to work. Even Farmer Coop cant give this equity. Susmariosep naman kayo sa DA.

    4. – isang lugar pa lang yan. tignan ninyo other regional areas. paki review na din yun buying prices – for added knowledge kung paano ni-racket.

    5. ferdinand naboye on

      if the government really true to help the poor farmer do not insist on the on the spot counter part. study the capability of the farmers and give them more time to repay the required counter from the proceecds of the products over a good period of time. this i think would truly help the poor farmer survive instead of demanding from them outright cash counterparts. Mr. secretary I know uyou have a big heart to help the poor farmers do it now by relaxing on those counterparts and give a chance for the faithfull farmer a chance to be of help in the program.

    6. Good job pinol get them prosecute them. This guy should be the next president after duterte